2016 Wrap-up Meetings

OleisOleis Producer EmeritusMember, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,393 admin
edited December 2016 in Announcements

All --

Thanks to those of you who took a moment to welcome me back. Getting back up to speed with our volunteers and staff has been a fun, exciting endeavor. Next, it's important for me to reconnect with you all. With that in mind, I've scheduled a series of meetings for the week between Christmas and New Year's. Given the diverse times and topics, I hope you'll all be able to attend the meetings that interest you.

The first two meetings will be general discussions. One is best suited for Eastern and GMT, with another specifically scheduled to welcome our Aussies and New Zealanders. Next is the PvP-specific meeting, which will help us address some PK concerns, dispel some rumors, and best understand your priorities as combatants. Finally, we'll host a forum specifically for city, guild, and house leaders. All are welcome to attend and observe.

Town Hall
Tuesday, December 27th
7pm Eastern US / Midnight Wednesday GMT / 1pm Wednesday NZ

Town Hall
Wednesday, December 28th
1am Eastern US / 6am GMT / 7pm NZ

PvP-Specific Meeting
Thursday, December 29th
5pm Eastern US / 10pm GMT / 11am Friday NZ

Leader Meeting
Thursday, December 29th
7pm Eastern US / Midnight Friday GMT / 1pm Friday NZ

While you are always welcome to message me, email me, or engage with me on Aetolia's forums (forums.aetolia.com), I hope you'll take the time to attend these meetings and discuss your thoughts publicly. This is often the best way for us to spread information in Aetolia, and it's a great chance for me to get acquainted with those of you I haven't met yet. Please let me know if you have any questions!
You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
[---]
"^," Slyphe agrees with you.
Post edited by Razmael on
KerrynHadrakFezzixRunasFaerahPericlesKelliaraLin

Comments

  • OleisOleis Producer Emeritus Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,393 admin
    edited December 2016
    First town hall meeting was a great success! I'm grabbing some dinner and a nap before I interact with our Aus and NZ friends. This log clean-up is heavily automated, so please let me know if you notice something missing or something that shouldn't be there.

    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay, folks. Now that I've had far too many pretzels, I think we're good to begin. Welcome to the first of our townhalls. If you celebrate Christmas or Chanukah (in any transliteration), I hope it was lovely and peaceful for you."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If you're not familiar with my name, I was Aetolia's Assistant Producer from 2013-2015. I am now officially Aetolia's Producer, which means I'm the leader of our team of paid staff and volunteers. We're here to produce new content, fix what's broken, and set priorities for making Aetolia a healthier, more interesting game."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "There is a business side, of course, so I'm also tasked with implementing the IRE-wide monthly promotions and doing other things to encourage sales. If Aetolia doesn't pay its bills, it closes. I think for many years, our players didn't quite take that seriously. And then Midkemia closed."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "No producer can resent the business end and be effective, but I want to start by reassuring you that my focus is on game content first and sales second. If we have cashflow problems, it's probably because we're having game design problems."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Our paid staff are Razmael, who is taking the lead on a lot of our coding. Keroc is primarily a combat coder, but he has a wide variety of experience and knowledge. Hadrak is our head of roleplay and building, which means she's my primary collaborator in making story decisions and setting content release timelines."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I will do plenty of coding, but my primary responsibility is to the project management side of things. Making sure everyone's on the same page, working toward new releases and improvements."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay, first up."
    -
    Grand Duke "Shadowlord" Rhyot, Warlord of Chaos says, "My first question is in regards to haven points. As of right now, short of a few skills and additional haven addons, there is no use for haven points. More so, if a player is like me and doesn't want to buy every skill or have a 200 room haven each with their own addons. I've done a bit of research and have even posted a thread on forums with ideas about the further use of haven points that would not be game breaking. Most of them are mechanical (such as xp/pve buffs, agro pulls, ylem additions) while some are aesthetic (Like stockroom similaries). Essentially nothing that would affect the balance of the game. If you would like the thread link I can provide it to you. So, my question is this: Is it possible to add some additional usefulness to haven points beyond pure aesthetical means of haven editting?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Havens are a tricky game design issue. They give players a part of the game to customize to their every whim, which is a huge positive. Anyone remotely close to my age probably went bananas on Neopets or Gaia Online or something back in the day. Plus, they're earned from pure effort. Bashbashbashbashbash, have something awesome to show for it. But they fragment our population. The more time one spends in one's haven, the less the rest of the game world sees them. It makes it more difficult to cluster players in common areas for small-scale RP, either among themselves or through Divine mobile-posession."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Your solution is one way to reward players for earning Haven points, but they're called "Haven points" for a reason. Inasmuch as they pull players away from the rest of the game, they're made that way in order to be essentially separate from the game. The intention is also the unfortunate side-effect."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The reason I lean against what you're suggesting is that it continues to raise the bar of entry. As we add more and more mechanical buffs to the endgame experience, we're putting a larger burden on new characters to "catch up". Our mid-game play is already pretty scant. The solution has been to make it easier to reach endgame, and I'm down with that, but I'm not sure it's something we necessarily need to further."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But it's a good thing to think about, and not something that was on my radar yet. So thanks for that!"
    -
    Hiale Lehar Pennington says, "My question focuses more on the roleplay and engagement side of the game, more specifically divineRP/religions/etc. The amount of active divine that we've had on either side hasn't been anywhere close to 'full' for a long time, and I think the shadow side feels this in a much harsher manner with only Iosyne having been really active and publicly engaging players or sparking engagement between factions/groups. Is there any plans, or have there been discussions, about rectifying this lack of usage for the resource of the divine shells? Mostly I just want to feel like they're actual forces, not just buff-bots."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's an excellent question. Our immortal recruitment has been tricky lately, and it's all across IRE. Some Producers have compensated for this trend by putting individual volunteers into multiple God shells, or killing off Divine until they have more manageable numbers. I was working on Imperian for the transition between Divine and Entities there, and it was definitely -a- solution to that issue. I know that in my time on Aetolia, we've had volunteers stretched too thin on roleplay engagement, and it's pretty easy to burn out if you're not often successful in stirring up interaction."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "What I'd like to see in Aetolia, and what we're making plans to accomplish, is encouraging players to be more open for roleplay. I know we can't keep people out of their Havens, but we can encourage them to group more readily in their safe spaces and be more responsive to little happenings that might foretell some small-scale roleplay involvement. Our volunteers should be interacting with players on every level, not just as visible God characters in moments of Order-specific roleplay or city involvement. I value that, and I think our volunteers do it well, but it's just one small part of the experience."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Some more mechanical conflict systems will encourage inter-city interaction and small degrees of intra-tether conflict and negotiation to further group goals."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Does that answer your question?"
    -
    Hiale Lehar Pennington says, "For now, yes. Thanks."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles and says, "Gladly."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, "My main question is regarding the current economy of Aetolia as a whole. I understand completely the removal of cryptic chests.... However since that removal prizebags were added as a replacement, which is quite lackluster and doesn't seem worth me spending my gold on. Despite the fact that I value my gold as fairly worthless since there's not really anything else to spend it on. Combine this with the fact that the credit market now has restrictions on it for how much you can sell credits for, which I understand is to keep credit prices down it's effectively kept credits from being available at all. Are there plans to add something that's going to soak up all this gold so many characters have on a regular basis so that people want to sell credits for gold, effectively helping Aet's cash-flow. Could we also remove the restrictions on credit sale prices so that there's something available even if they do spike to 10 or 20k that's still something players can work towards instead of 6k that you can never spend because there's never any available."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Gold sinks are a HUGE area for improvement on Aetolia. What I mean by that are mechanics which consume gold and don't return it to the game economy in any direct way. We have lots of gold faucets (gold drops, quest rewards) and lots of gold transactions (shops, credit market), but very few true sinks."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Our plans for larger conflict systems will definitely include opportunities to eat gold from the system. I will also be doing a broad study of bashing and questing gold payouts so that we can finer-tune the ratio of gold payouts to consumption. We don't want gold to be TOO scarce, because it effectively precludes players from engaging with our game, but the current state of things is pretty rough."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As for the credit market, the price limits were an interesting experiment. The market itself seems to be doing fine, but there is the issue of acknowledging open supply and demand. I think we can re-assess the situation there when we make some gold-flow changes and track how those affect the economy at large."
    -
    Aloli Gallant Cardinalis says, "Okay, hello..I actually have a few questions and suggestions which Ill end up emailing if we run out of time cbut here I wanted to ask, can you take a look at the relationship between the arena account and the culture minister? It would be easy for us to have this set up so the two accounts can transfer back and forth between one another without adding a security risk to the city coffers and setting up alerts that might send a message to the minister or city leaders when the arena gets too low or gets closed?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That seems like an easy winner to simplify, yeah. Having more people in the arena is a great thing for cities and the game as a whole, because it makes PvP more accessible."
    -
    Aloli Gallant Cardinalis says, "Yeah."
    -
    Aloli Gallant Cardinalis says, "Thank you."
    -
    Flashing a wide grin, Oleis gives the thumbs-up sign.
    -
    Grulg Black-Skull says, "I've a hodge podge series of questions. Will armor ever be something that can be learned outside of class restrictions? I think it should be, considering armor, in a very real way is only something that takes time and training to become comfortable in. It may be more conducive to just turn armor possibly into a tag on skill instead of having to outright own a class just to access certain types. Plus, it would make the fabric of the world, RP/Fluff wise, feel a little smoother, if everyone could work towards wearing any armor type, if they put enough time and effort into it. I guess the same could apply for shields. Or even letting players simply wear armor if they cant use it, but incur a hefty penalty, e.t.c. Further more, my second question - Why not make it possible for a unit/group of combative players, to lay down volley fire as a team, throwing or shooting projectiles together, instead of as individuals. Might add an interesting new angle to PvP combat in general, and help evolve unit actions in general. Not just for ranged weapons as well, but how about sticking together and moving about in formations possibly? PvP could stand to evolve a little bit more in terms of team action being worked upon, instead of just a frikin pell mell of individual fighters headbutting each other in a room. Combined arms fighting and unit actions are something I'm sure other players are interested in, not just myself. Just a thought. Last question, when is the War System coming back into use? I bet several players are just -itching- to get involved in command & conquer here in Aetolia."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "1. Armor is class-restricted as a means of combat balance. Like many newer games after it, Aetolia's fighters often fall into specific roles where they build to do more damage, or play a better defense. Allowing one to do both of those things at once inflates the power of the class and makes it more difficult to keep the classes evently effective."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "2. Ranged combat in general is often much less fun than in-room or adjacent-room scrapping. Giving more incentive to stay out of the danger zone and snipe/volley reduces interaction and plain encourages griefy behavior. Large group combat should be about isolating targets and focusing attacks rather than picking off from afar."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "3. The War System as it once existed will not return. Razmael has been working hard on a new proposal for quite some time, and we're in the process of workshopping a more cohesive and workable option that won't be as susceptible to falling into un-fun territory."
    -
    Ser Arbre Aquila, Kennel Mistress says, "Why were you asking about guilds on forums and what are your intentions with them in the future?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "One of my big insecurities coming into role as Aetolia's Producer was my lack of familiarity with guild life here. I was a long-time Imperian player and a volunteer during the era of guild mergers and deletion. What I didn't want to do was try to make assumptions about the atmosphere and player sentiment here and then end up hamfisting the fixes when it came time to address serious weaknesses. The thread was very enlightening to that end, and it cleared up some misconceptions I had."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Dismantling the guild system wasn't on the table before, and still isn't. But I do want to address the population segmentation that comes with having more guilds than the playerbase can support. Deleting some guilds is one way to condense players into fewer organizations, but it comes with the sharp downside of a perceived loss of value to you guys. You."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "You've sunk time and effort into your guild, and you don't want to see it go away."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "To that end, we're focusing more on the relationship between guild and city, so that players (and new players especially) feel supported regardless of their guild's activity level at their preferred playing time, but the identity and the value of the guilds remain."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused laughingly says, "Did I assuage your fears?"
    -
    Ser Arbre Aquila, Kennel Mistress says, "Yes and no. Some guilds still possibly being on the chopping block is nervewracking, despite myself believing it probably needs doing."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Ser Arbre Aquila, Kennel Mistress says, "I'm guessing you don't have a plan in place about that, though."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Understandably so. Rest assured that if any guild deletion happens by my hand, it'll be after a period of direct communication and attempts at remediation."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The goal is to prune the unhealthy guilds, if that's necessary, rather than carving out particular roles or the most convenient options."
    -
    Elemancer Runas Elindian says, in a feral tongue, "I am also one who supports "pruning" as you say, but my question kinda follows up with some promises made after the dissolving of some other orgs which used to exist...so here goes." In a whisper, an incorporeal shadow fiend says, "I will follow you, agent. Do not mislead me."
    -
    Elemancer Runas Elindian says, in a feral tongue, "So this is going back a bit, and truly I am super pleased with some of the work on factions and the development work that has went into it. For those of us who experienced Shapeshifting from its previous forms the Atabahi and Bahkatu respectively, one of the things we were told and was written was that there would be factions related to the varied packs, and we even see some of this in our FACTIONS list regarding the Scrofan Tribe which is respectably that of the Wereboars however I have played a boar and never recieved any recognition from them to attain rank in the faction, however for those who lost their organizations and people like myself on this character playing a wolf in a prominent pack having some semblance of faction was a perk which we thought would help somewhat establish furthering the lore of those organizations and learning further of the new organizations which were created, even if it is trivial RP, maybe a quest, or something cosmetic, I was kinda bummed when they never came about, are there plans to continue to create these factions for the varied packs of the packmoot or has it been scrapped?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This is the question I feared the most, if only because I try not to swear at work."
    -
    Oleis snickers under His breath.
    -
    Elemancer Runas Elindian says, in a feral tongue, "Sorry."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The Shapeshifter revamp and development of the factions thereafter was the project that broke me, frankly. It taught me so much about managing a team of volunteers, about making concessions between development pace and roleplay, and especially about knowing when to cut cord and hope for the best. Our code was fairly complete 3-4 months before the actual release happened. We had spent those months attempting to develop the pack factions, having the goalposts move repeatedly, and eventually just throwing our hands up in the air and hitting LOAD. I want to make sure that Shapeshifters aren't neglected, but the natural integration of Shapeshifters into Aetolia's population makes that exceedingly difficult without grand plans. Because everyone can be a Shapeshifter without losing anything, there's no way to effectively target their niche or appeal to their role, because there's no one answer, even a broad one."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That said, we need to do something, and it's one of the things I've been kicking around as a longer-term goal. You can expect to have some forum discussions and meetings like this while we try to assess what makes the Shapeshifter role appealing and capitalize on that."
    -
    Shadow Warden Teani Tash'Vetra says, "I'd like to bring up the lack of consequences in the game. I realize that it is a business and that it is meant to keep people happy, but it's come to the point where people can be unicorns (to use proper language filters) and just shrug their shoulders, knowing little will happen. You endure a negligible loss from dying, meaning bounties are a nuisance at most to people who don't really care as long as they get to act however they want. Would you consider adding some other form of punishment, like imprisonment/interrogation to add some more depth to certain conflicts? Would it be possible to have disfavors (and favors for that matter) have added effects than altering rank? Perhaps a timed buff or hex in connection to it? The playerbase would of course have to be made aware that consequences are part of the game."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Like you identified yourself, the difficulty is in punishing people without making it difficult or impossible for them to play the game. There are administrative punishments that do exactly that, when necessary, but even they need to be fine-tuned to more appropriately target the mechanisms that enable the behavior that got them punished. Sometimes a blanket disfavor just doesn't correct for the unwanted behavior."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "In terms of player-directed punishments, I'm not sure there's much we can do for inter-city behavior, but within cities we can absolutely have a look at the punishments and displays of disapproval."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "To more directly address the unspoken question here, though: It's really important to keep in mind our implicit bias as we play this game (or any game). I've joked that being a public school teacher is exactly what qualifies me to be a good IRE Producer. Not because our players are children, but because everyone has an agenda. To wrestle with the accusations of three or four students (or customers) and make a decision that doesn't enrage the whole lot of them and their friends, you have to break down the motivations, biases, and unspoken complications that drive their distress and get down to the meat of the conflict. Light side will always think Shadow side is getting away with something, and they're usually at least partially right. Shadow side will always think Light side is getting away with something, and they're usually at least partially right. My greatest source of amusement when I first got here was people claiming I favored the Dark or the Light through my actions despite the fact that I've never really played the game as a mortal."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "All I can truly do to solve that problem is to be open about my decision making. You'll find that I usually message all parties in a PvP issue with the same information, because how I reached a conclusion is just as meaningful as the conclusion I reached."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Very rarely does any perpetrator consider his punishment just. Very rarely does any victim think the punishment is adequate."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But the more open I am about WHY I've made those choices, the more likely we are to have some mutual understanding on the topic."
    -
    Docent Eliadon says, "As I am relatively new to Aetolia, I do not have a terribly large amount of experience with the finer details of the lore, but I have noticed (what seems to me, at least) a somewhat troubling amount of friendliness between members of both tethers. Considering what I -have- learned in my time playing thus far, those on the side of Spirit should be vehemently against bringing more Shadow into the Prime for a variety of reasons. While I would never advocate for cutting off role-play between the two tethers, I feel like there should be a line drawn somewhere... and the relatively common occurrence of 'drinking buddies' seems far too personal to me. I realize this is something that individual organizations and their leadership should handle in some fashion or other, but do you feel that relationships closer than 'rivals who you are willing to debate' are appropriate across tethers?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It's funny that this question came before its counterpart. Way more often, we're asked why we can't make Aetolia more neutral. Many of our players want to dabble in the gray areas, either because they have friends on the other side or they just bristle at the idea of having an identity foisted upon them. But you're absolutely right that the partisan atmosphere is what helps foster conflict here. Without something to drive the tethers apart, how are we roleplaying our disagreements outside of the mechanically-drive conflict systems?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "However, I agree that it's a city problem to fix, and likely something that will come into debate at our leader meeting later this week. Our role in it administratively will be to provide scenarios for cities and citizens to actually play out and solidify their differences, rather than our writing them out explicitly."
    -
    Lin dur Naya says, "Hi, Riley! First off, so glad to see you back again."
    -
    Lin dur Naya says, "So..."
    -
    Lin dur Naya says, "I'm gonna be That Guy and ask the token Albedos question. We saw the game's overarching plan evolve, over the years, from a full-scale migration to the new continent, to what seems like a more gradual opening of borders, with open trade and mutual conflict between the two areas. I have to say, so far it feels very disjointed, and Albedos is beginning to feel more like a Lusternia-style plane than a separate country, not the least of which is because we have numerous ways of traveling there instantly. What is your vision, regarding the development of Albedos and our relation with it, over... say, the next three years?"
    -
    Lin dur Naya says, "To be clear I'm not criticizing, by any means, the development on the new continent. Hadrak's new areas have been complete dynamite. My question specifically looks at the Sapience <--> Albedos relationship."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Let's start by saying that I completely agree with your assessment, but it's not my place right now to make 3-year plans. However, I can tell you where I see weaknesses in Albedos and how we can capitalize on its strengths. Our biggest need is a reason for players to actually explore those awesome areas. They have plenty of bashing and questing on this side of things, and producing that content for these huge areas is challenging anyway. With that in mind, you can expect Albedos to play an increased role in world events and conflict mechanics, so that familiarity with the continent is a necessary part of interacting with the game."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Storywise, we've had inklings of what's going on on the "new" continent with Gods and other creatures, and you can expect to see a great deal more of that. Neutrality is helpful in the acclimation period, and outright antagonism was awesome in the continent's release event, but a more treacherous relationship fraught with opportunities for either extreme is more compelling, in my opinion."
    -
    Lin dur Naya says, "Thank you, Mr. Oleis. That's comforting to know."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "What I can definitely say is that we're not about to remove large parts of Sapience to force you over to Albedos. Rather, you may just see new opportunities on Albedos and a reduced focus on releasing new content on Sapience for the time being."
    -
    "Sure!" Oleis says agreeably.
    -
    Mihaketi says, in a feral tongue, "Glad to see you back, Oleis. I'm wondering if, as Producer, you intend to implement more restrictions on what staff can and can't talk about or promise to players prior to the promised content being completely ready for release. Historically there has been a great deal of material promised which is then pushed back or cancelled by a lack of manpower, lack of motivation, etc. Do you have any thoughts about addressing this without giving the impression that the game has no forthcoming content? Additionally, given your previous responses to other questions, do you have any thoughts on moderating the effect increased/mandatory workload has on the motivation and burnout of volunteers? Thanks."
    -
    Mihaketi says, in a feral tongue, "Part of my question was answered before, so sorry if it overlaps."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles and says, "No worries."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Bless you for asking this question. With no offense meant to the volunteer in question, Fishing is infamous for its vaporware status after a volunteer sold it on the forums as a Soon-to-be-released feature and it had barely even been started. While we did indeed finish it eventually because we had a cool idea for it, I probably don't have to tell you how frustrated I was. Volunteers should not be the ones promising anything. I want to empower them to engage with players, solicit great ideas, and participate in the overall information exchange, but ultimately I'm the person who decides what gets shared when. Projects will be kept pretty solidly quiet until they're ready to release. One great example is the Wayfarer class. It's going into its final testing round tonight, so I'm confident in reminding you that it exists, but you had better believe you wouldn't have heard from me about it any sooner than it was announced."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Like in this meeting, I'll tell you my intentions and my broad-stroke goals, but the details change far too much in the design process to even come out before they're set. All that can do is disappoint players or inadvertently cause fears of consequences that aren't coming to pass."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "While one of my focuses is on helping the volunteers understand what needs doing and focusing our whole team on larger tasks in addition to their individual passion projects, I don't foresee any kind of mandatory workload. All I can do is share the opportunities to contribute to our team priority and hope that I've fostered an environment where people want to join in on the fun. Ultimately, I'm getting paid to do this and they're not. All I can expect from them is their respect and open communication."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We're going to loop back to Hexes, who is now properly connected, and then resume with our queue."
    -
    Soldier Hexes says, "Back in the day when delos was here and before esterport."
    -
    Soldier Hexes says, "There was a artifact store."
    -
    Soldier Hexes says, "Any intention to bring back those item?"
    -
    Soldier Hexes says, "My apology i wasnt aware of the answer was infront of me the whole time."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The artifact stores have actually been converted to an itemless 'power' system, so that you can buy artifact powers on many different items rather than set items with specific powers. HELP ARTIFACT PURCHASES will help you out with that. You can still find Qeddwyn though, if you miss him, for an artifact tattoo."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "No worries!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm sure someone else will read this and have their question answered."
    -
    Niavex A. Wielder says, "This has sort of been mentioned - my question revolves around neutrality. In the past more of it existed, and since my main desire is for roleplay with other players, I baulk at the idea of cutting others off based solely on light or dark affiliations. The issue I have run into remaining neutral, however, is there are no longer any guilds or cities I can be a part of and remain so. Thusly, I've become a vagabond by default and other than a handful of clans I have nowhere to belong, and also not a lot to work toward. Due to conversations so far, it seems the likelihood of it happening is slim, but I'm going to ask anyway, is there any possibility of a future group, such as a city or guild, for neutral players?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Our biggest problems in Aetolia are a heavily-segmented population and a lack of roleplayed conflict. Endorsing neutrality and making it easy to be entirely neutral as a character are good storytelling elements, but they're actively detrimental to the health of the game."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Trust me, I can see the appeal, but the consequence could be very damaging to the larger whole."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "I'm curious about commodities, mostly. It seems to me that there's a hope that the cities, at some point, will run out of commodities, but given the cost of running a city, commodities wise, all it really seems to be doing is killing crafting. New crafters can no longer afford to get involved with a craft and older crafters, and cities alike, are hoarding commodities for fear that they may no longer have them. It's also impacting people's ability to get weapons and armor, tarot cards and vials and the like. I'm wondering if there isn't a better way to handle this situation, to make sure crafting, hunting and pk don't suffer because people are afraid of using their commodities. Also, who do I have to bribe for bulk smelting?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This ties into our prior conversation about the economy and goldsinks. Without commodity scarcity, the huge availability of gold allows players to freely glut themselves on commodities without consequence, leading to much cheaper crafted goods and further exacerbating the issue of devalued gold. The cities are hoarding enormous stockpiles of commodities, well beyond even the 'safe' threshold for their potential needs. For the time being, that makes this a supply vs. demand problem rather than a need for game design correction."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That said, you can expect to see broad changes to the commodity system with global conflict changes. However, that means a staggered release with plenty of prep time. Ultimately, if we want to bleed commodities out of city stockpiles to further our War System, that's possible no matter how much you hoard. I would encourage city leaders (and will at our leader meeting later this week) to accommodate their citizens first, and worry about us second. I have a habit of being exceedingly clear sometimes."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Bribery does nothing for me! I already have a cat and tequila, so there is nothing in this world I need."
    -
    Ser Toz, the Iron Hammer says, in a feral tongue, "So when talking to people who no longer play/play far less than they used to, one of the most common complaints I hear (cited as reasons for no longer playing, reasons for playing less, etc.) is that the playerbase as a whole (and even some volunteers, though those complaints are old) are OOCly toxic to an extreme. Metagaming, switching characters to new orgs to vote/stir up drama during times of political instability, talking about people (especially in front of newer players), old grudges refusing to die between characters, etc. I know that there are people who think it's a side thing (lifers are toxic, darkies are toxic, etc.), those who think it's a clan-specific thing or web-specific (darkie web, Frontline), and I myself have been sent quite a few things from Frontline that were less than pleasant about me, and it's enough of a trend that Duiran lost its government for awhile. I also recall one of the reasons Daskalos cited in his goodbye on a thread was the OOC toxicity around the game, and though that's old news I think the problem is headed for worse instead of better. I know it's probably extremely hard to police/handle toxicity, but is there anything slated/planned/being discussed for handling it or are we going to need to address that on an organizational level?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This is one of those topics that is absolutely pervasive, all across IRE. It's partially rooted in nostalgia, for the (mostly imaginary) times before players communicated out-of-character. At that point, the rhetorical target was Forum RP or MSN groups. It was just as true then as it is now, though Discord, Skype, and their ilk definitely make that communication simpler."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "What I can focus on is encouraging volunteers to keep their communications with players focused on things that aren't Aetolia, and avoiding revealing their volunteer status to existing friends as much as possible."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As for player behavior? I'm not a fan of snooping on player communication, though most of you know it's possible when investigating issues or allegations of abusive behavior. For that part, my answer is very similar to any PvP query: All I can do is be as honest as possible about my motivations when making a punishment decision and be clear about my expectations."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If someone brings it to my attention that you're breaking our standards for communication on Aetolia, even if it's OOC in nature,
    you can expect a conversation."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If there is clear evidence of OOC collusion to take advantage of a game flaw or bug, you can expect those people to be severely punished."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "Certain commodities, such as steel, wood, and cloth, are next to impossible to find out in the wild right now. Somebody, be it a city or a private individual, keeps the stocks low. This makes it really difficult for the Trade ministry of every city to ensure a -sufficient- level of things remain in stock. I know Spinesreach is having difficulty with one commodity, Enorian with practically all of them, Bloodloch with a different one... My question is this: Do you intend to allow cities to take their stocks of things like coal and leather and rope and trade them in for harder-to-obtain commodities, much like we did for stone when stone was introduced? Because that would get rid of the extraordinarily high levels of certain comms, enable us to reel in the cost of certain bashing necessities that newbies have no option -not- to buy, and -still- be able to attain whatever goal is needed for the War System to be released. Honestly, I feel comms should have been changed closer to release of the War System, because as Rasani said, it affected crafting significantly, especially after some of Becue's latest rulings regarding commodity amounts for things like beds."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This ties into a few previous questions, such as no longer jumping the gun on prepping for large releases, and being more intentional about our communication with you guys in those instances. I would argue that our definitions of "sufficient" probably differ wildly, but I can't control how city leaders perceive their supplies, and it's not my place to brainwash them. :P You can expect some short-term adjustments to the commodity situation and some more substantive ones as we solidify the design and implementation of our new war system."
    -
    Mariena T. Sinclair says, "Alright so, Faction question reminded me earlier. About a year or maybe three ago, I'm not good with keeping time, there were factions in the Shaman guild that came from Dendara. These were testers, from what I gathered. Rp elements for guilds. Are these different from what you were speaking about earlier? What ever happened to the notion if they are not? What is in your head about keeping rp arcs on a timeline that won't cause people to lose interest? I know the Lore and such is more Hadrak's role in game but sometimes it feels certain events taper off or stop with promise of the future and then we don't see it? Apologies if this is something you've touched on."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I had a more elaborate answer, but the short one is that the guild factions won't be happening in any version that they were promoted. It's too much effort and implementation for something that ultimately just divides an already-divided populace. With your arcs question, you've definitely touched on one of my focuses. Just as we won't be announcing features before they're mostly ready, we won't be starting roleplay arcs until the first event is ready to fire, the second event is basically there, and the third event is being created. Every story has an ending, and making things up as we go is not an option. We will -always- need to leave room for adjustments, but our instinct on Aetolia is to shift the finish line out of a desire to add more content to each release, and we need to get back to focused releases with clear boundaries."
    -
    Xenia Seirath-Vetra says, "I would like to discus factional RP and sort of follow up on this previous qustion. In my time as GM I often found myself instigating and manipulating the environment, making up NPCs that weren't actually there and such with a staff of illusion. From the stance of wanting to enrich the environment, it would be nice to have some sort of org tool to create temporary NPCs (they decay or something) at the price of gold, that could be controlled by whomever paid (Secs and GM/CLs), which could be used to further along sub-level plots in a faction's day to day. The goal in doing this would be to increase the amount of activity and engagement within and between organizations. Would something like the above suggestion ever be considered, if not, can you speak on any ideas you all have to increase this level of engagement? On a broader level, could you speak more on your stance on the sort of autonomy such an implementation would create within the player base?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If we can take the essence of what you just described and make it featureful enough to serve a purpose, I'm for it in theory. There is a large issue with this, however, and it's something that will come into play at the leader meeting as well. While you and a few others were fantastic at promoting the guild on your own efforts and merits, some other guildmasters have used that autonomy to create a separate reality for their guilds, where their own actions and preferences override the overall storyline and our goals for the guild. This happened most notably in the Daru, where we had a series of conversations with the guildmaster but the guild at large was entirely unaware of the problems."
    -
    Niavex leaves to the out.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "So while I want to encourage a culture of what you're describing to enable improvements to the health of the guild, letting the reins away too much creates a whole host of problems for the overall health of the game."
    -
    Initiate Phoenecia Sinclair says, "Alright, so my question is in regards to the Refugee Camp area in the Liruma and the shops in it. It's been there for years as a dead zone, and the few shops that remain there don't get listed on the shop directories. Will there ever be any plans for that area or for the shops to get redistributed? Because it just kind of seems like that whole area has been forgotten about."
    -
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The refugee camp was an experiment in expanding shop ownership, with a way to ease players out of them eventually. Expanding it runs counter to our goals there. You'll likely see that area vanish instead. Whether we expand player shops elsewhere remains to be seen."
    -
    Empress Sarita Bahir'an says, "In a previous meeting a while back, I asked about the Dominion's role with new players. I don't remember who ran that one, unfortunately, but the response was that it might be looked into, and since then, nothing has changed. Currently all nightstalkers start there and are then encouraged to join a House through Bloodloch's academy, but when they do, there is an awkward transition period where they are booted from the Dominion until they get embraced within a House. I've noticed on more than one occasion that truly new players find the whole process confusing, and I'm still wondering if something could be done or considered to help everyone out."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I am so happy to say that I'm in the planning stages for a major streamline to becoming a vampire, the Dominion, and novicehood in general."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I want to make sure that our new players have the largest support communities possible, and I expect that we'll be seeing a big improvement with no real downside."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'll share more on that as we solidify the details and begin its implementation, but we're talking pretty short-term."
    -
    The nightmarish figure of Mephistoles says, "Is there still a cabalist revamp in the works? If the answer is "yes", where does it stand in relation to other priorities with Aetolia and what is the possible timeframe for it's release? The class has long been need of a serious update, for both combat and RP, but it keeps getting pushed back in favor of other projects."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This is another one of those vaporware projects that should not have come out of the bag until it was ready to fire, because it's exceptionally tricky. Capturing the right combination of lore, combat mechanics, and potency is hard for any class but especially difficult for Cabalist. That's one of the projects that's on the bubble for me as I assess our hot irons, frankly, because it hasn't been getting "pushed back" in the sense that it wasn't prioritized. It just hasn't been materializing as it should."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We're going to see what happens with the design possibilities and the testing in the next couple weeks, and then you can expect a firm answer one way or another at that point."
    -
    The nightmarish figure of Mephistoles says, "Great, thank you."
    -
    Iniha Ollura says, "I'm really excited that you guys are being so receptive to player-input! Having been part of an IRE where the producers really weren't, it's both refreshing and makes me want to participate more."
    -
    Oleis's mouth turns up as His face breaks into a smile.
    -
    Iniha Ollura says, "Sorry. I had it queued and the anti-spam killed my queue."
    -
    Iniha Ollura says, "Happy praise times out of the way: one of the big things I've noticed, as a returning player - returning meaning 'from the day of Priests as a choosable class' for time reference -, beyond the obvious changes is that the website is not up to date. I know that probably seems super minor, and maybe it is, though I desperately wander around the website sometimes in the hopes to find helpfiles so that I don't have to look at them in the game. Similarly, I look at the websites before starting a game, so I can see the things that make it unique: races, functions, groups, etc."
    -
    Iniha Ollura says, "Understanding that most people are volunteers, are we going to keep updating those things? And is there a way that the playerbase can be more helpful in ensuring information stays updated where newbies and/or not-yet-playing future players can see it, to help the voluneteers not suffer burnout?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's a great question, and it's incredibly relevant. We're on an IRE-wide initiative to revamp and refresh the game websites in the near future here. That's my responsibility solely, so no worries about volunteer burnout. It will be simpler, with less information, but what's there is targeted toward new players and information-seekers, so it should be easier to get what you need."
    -
    Iniha Ollura says, "Alright, awesomeness! Platonic love all around."
    -
    Oblate Ipz says, "My question is directed at organizations and the people that run them. Currently, it seems that people want to work hard to achieve a position. Once someone hits the top of the food chain, they sit there and hold the position. The problem here is the top brass of a organization usually surrounds themselves with friends and this leads to people becoming paranoid about others agenda's. I was wondering if a term could be placed on these positions to encourage people to always work for them. IE: You're the keeper of Bloodloch for a term of four years, after that you have a cooldown of four years to encourage new leaders in said positions."
    -
    Oleis claps His hands together merrily.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The thing about term limits in organizations is that our pool of potential options is significantly smaller than, say, a house of OOC government. There's a steady supply of ambition, but not necessarily the toolkit to passionately and effectively lead an organization. Artifically winnowing the pool keeps the leadership seat from getting too stagnant, but opens the possibility that there simply isn't a suitable candidate. What we CAN do is set our election and voting policies so that no leader is ever too entrenched. Razmael made great strides in eliminating votes from seconds (and harshly punishing the perpetrators), and I'd follow that up with an assessment of our voting requirements to make sure that everyone has a fair voice."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If a guildmaster isn't being effective, his or her guild should be able to vote for change."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If a guild can't help itself in that regard, we need to have a conversation administratively about its contribution to the game and go from there."
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "Want to just piggyback a bit on what Toz said but also add if there will ever be punishment for real harassment on Aetolia. I hate to make it so personal but this is a very personal one to me because I was vehemently harrassed by a certain group of players within the game. So much so that, as was mentioned before, I was attacked within the citychannel not really for anything I had done but just for being me and I was constantly contested. I was forced to step down and leave an organization I adore because of it and shortly after admin changed the rules on elections and Duiran's leadership. However, I was constantly stalked afterwards for quite awhile and had my harrassers try to get around my ignore. Eventually these people petered out but this was months and months of harassment with seemingly nothing done about it from upstairs despite my issues and complaints about it. This kind of thing is exceptional but it went too far, really far. Will things like this be taken more seriously? I'm afraid of it happening to me or someone else again."
    -
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "Also will Artisanals come back!"
    -
    -
    Runas snorts with amusement, nodding and adding in under a cough, 'Bardics...Too.""
    -
    Grulg yawns suddenly and mightily. You notice Karhast's eyelids are beginning to droop. Ipz yawns suddenly and mightily.
    -
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I don't want you to feel that I'm responding directly your situation here, because I'm not familiar with it, but I can say that if six years in IRE administration has taught me anything, people have wildly different definitions of harassment. When people DO pursue charges of harassment, it's really important that they do so with documented instances in the form of logs or specific dates/times so that we can investigate the behavior. I can eliminate 90% of harassment-related issues for not doing that diligence and not using the IGNORE feature. In your case, I'm truly sorry it happened, and I hope the environment is friendlier for you now."
    -
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "It is now and I had documented evidence of it. I just want to make sure that something like that never gets taken that far."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm unafraid to take on a strong personality, believe me. Anyone who feels harassed should first IGNORE, then make logs of those negative encounters to compile an ISSUE. I'll spring on it like a spider monkey."
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "It seemed like admin saw the problem and took some steps for the organization but none were taken with what personally was happening to me even after I left."
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "Luckily I have a strong personality as well and I didn't back off but for someone else it would be a very stressful 3 - 6 months."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I understand. I think all of us have an instance of a pre-Razmael administrator failing to follow through on a compelling need, and I know he and I have dropped some balls too. Just know that I take what you're saying seriously, and I intend to take action on any substantive ISSUEs I receive."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay, folks. That's everything. I know Rhyot wanted to stick around for a couple questions, so I'm going to lift the silence, but the official meeting will end here. Feel free to stop and chat for a bit before you exit. The OUTward exit will take you back to reality."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Thanks so much for attending!"
    -
    The town hall meeting has ended.
    Post edited by Oleis on
    You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
    [---]
    "^," Slyphe agrees with you.
    Lin
  • OleisOleis Producer Emeritus Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,393 admin
    edited December 2016
    Town hall #2 log.
    Doyen Kelliara Vetra says, in a feral tongue, "Could we get a brief recap of the topics discussed at the earlier Townhall?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Sure thing! You can also find the log on the forums, greatly condensed to just questions and answers. We had broad discussions on the future of guilds, the Shapeshifter factions, how we control information from the admin team to players (and how we'd like to control it better), and why neutrality is an appealing roleplay option but a dangerous game design decision."
    -
    Michi says, "Hi, who are you and what does you being the producer mean?"
    -
    Ser Arbre Aquila, Kennel Mistress says to Michi, "That is actually a really good question. I think a lot of us take for granted that we already know the answer and forget others don't."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Great question! If you all are not familiar with me, I was Aetolia's Assistant Producer from 2013-2015. Returning as the Producer means that I'm here to take the lead on all the project management duties, directing our team of paid staff and volunteers to make things happen. I'm responsible for setting the priorities as well as keeping things moving in implementing those priorities."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Razmael is taking the lead on our code development. Keroc primarily codes combat but has a diverse set of skills. Hadrak is my go-to roleplay, lore, and builder assistant."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "You'll also hear from me on any customer service needs."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Ipz! Get us started."
    -
    Oblate Ipz says, "I just learned how to fish today. Could you add some vnums to the ab file so I can find where I can fish.."
    -
    Oblate Ipz says, "That's all I got."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Generally, if you come across a natural body of water, there's going to be a fishing hole there. I actually had quite a fun time checking all the watery rooms in the game and figuring out how they should fit together, and I'm sure people since me have kept that going. Exploration is part of the fun, but you can always ask the more experienced fishermen in your city if they have any favorite spots."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Kodaza!"
    -
    Elemancer Kodaza Kitano says, "You were announced as interim producer, but is there a chance you'll stay on longer? I assume that you're not one hundred percent sure how long the interim will be."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm a public school teacher in my non-Aetolia time. Matt and I agreed to interim, transitional terms because there was not someone prepared to take on the role of Producer right away and I was very familiar with how things work here, but I wasn't looking to make a long-term job out of this. What that means, however, is that I'm committed to being here as long as it takes to leave Aetolia, IRE, and the new staff team in a confident state, whether that's six months or longer."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I think we'll know a lot more about that timeline when we've started the search in earnest for another Producer."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles and says, "Nelaana."
    -
    Elemancer Nelaana Raine says, "Hi. Is there anything that can be done about the bug, issue system? Like a 'we see this, we'll get to it when we've got a moment?' And can a little clarity be added to the help files as to what either is, because my targeting system is off, but I wasn't sure if that was a bug or an issue, and i've been wondering how long I will have to wait, because it's effecting my fighting."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The ISSUE system is something that I keep resolved pretty aggressively. For example, there is only one pending issue right now, and it's because I just don't have an adequate fix to address that person's question/predicament. The management of bugs is an opportunity for us to do better, though. If you have a BUG that matters especially strongly to you, make sure you set that as your Priority Bug, so that we can see it's your biggest frustration."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "In general, a good rule of thumb is that Issues are for urgent matters and conflicts between players that have moved beyond in-character resolutions."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Bugs are for flaws in the game that need to be addressed sometime soon."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Ferrik."
    -
    Ferrik says, "So! Did you miss u?! -- Ahem. Okay. Has the game and its community changed from your last.. ah fantastic functioning, in your eyes? And what do you feel is one of, if not the current challenge or hurdle to overcome for the game as a whole?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's a really fantastic question."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "First, I sure did miss you. You can ask Hadrak -- I would itch to ask questions about the state of things every once in a while and get all fidgety."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If there's one noticeable change in the community, it's that there's much less conflict outside of the mechanical avenues for it. The forums are quiet, and moderation is unnecessary. There are few PvP issues because there are few fights outside of Sect and Foci. I'm not sure there are ways for us to fix that on an administrative level, as we tend to deal more in combat systems and mechanical means, but it's very noticeable. On a game level, our biggest area for improvement is similarly our separation and lack of interaction. This came up in the earlier meeting, but it's actually pretty hard to get groups of people roped into small roleplay situations because we neglect our communal gathering spaces. New players sometimes struggle to assimilate because it's not immediately clear how players interact with one another outside of webs and Foci. Some real issues of personality and principle there, not necessarily policy."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Nenelos!"
    -
    A nightmarish figure (Nenelos) says, "It's my understanding that you'll be opening new avenues of conflict and areas to explore. Are you intending to allow further refinement of dueling skills as well as a general balancing to the existing group conflict system that's already in place? There are certain skills that function together to allow very easy-cheesy kills that have been discussed multiple times over the last year that I know of for certain. It was something I didn't think to ask earlier until it was brought up to me in a private conversation a short time ago."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We'll talk more in-depth about our plans at the PvP meeting later this week, but to give you an idea of my thinking on the subject: It was important to me as AP to start a regular schedule of classleads (liaisons, at the time) so that players knew their biggest combat issues could be assessed and discussed frequently. Building that trust meant that we could focus our efforts on PvP balance in those windows and free our minds and coding resources for the rest of the game in the in-between periods. I will certainly continue that, starting with the Q1 classlead round mid-January. Solo PvP balance will still be a priority, with attention to group combat where it is over- or under-performing."
    -
    A nightmarish figure (Nenelos) says, "You've already got me excited. Can we start now?"
    -
    Oleis waggles His eyebrows comically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Kerryn, please!"
    -
    Auspicious Legacy, Abbess Kerryn Aneneas says, "The sentaari have been in a tough spot, with our attempting to help us better fit in with Duiran. We were promised, factions would help us achieve that. However, that's no longer a priority according to the announcement you made about Factions no longer becoming a possibility. What help can we expect from admin to help us achieve that goal or is it now up to us solely to do it? And is it possible to downsize guild ranks from 20 to 10?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "During the leader meeting later this week, I'm going to lay out more detailed plans for shaping guilds and helping support them. My short answer for now is that we are absolutely in support of a desire to draw guilds closer to cities, and we're going to do more to make that easier and more natural."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused sticks out His tongue and says, "You can also expect a reduction in guild ranks, yes."
    -
    Auspicious Legacy, Abbess Kerryn Aneneas says, "Thank you."
    -
    "Sure!" Oleis says agreeably.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Roxi."
    -
    Warrior of Azvosh, Roxi, Sazi wo Abdal says, "I have a combination of suggestion regarding haven isolation and a question dealing with guilds, cities, and the credit kickbacks they get when we but credits from the website. First off, would it be feasible to kick a worldwide emote (when they happen) to include havens, at least once or twice, so people that may be idling but would be up for rp would know something is happening? It may help the interaction problem, since I know theres people who want to craft or not get mauled by politics or whatever, but would still be there for events that they would otherwise not see. Secondly, do guilds get a kickback of credits for Iron memberships, and if not, can we? I know it would probably help both the game (steady income) and guilds who struggle for credits, because we are all on memberships instead of buying credit packs."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Great! The thing about global emotes is that they're best suited for global events, and we usually do use them. However, our biggest weakness in terms of player interaction right now is more personal small-group roleplay, not the big blockbuster world events. As an Immortal looking to possess a mobile to stir up some spontaneous RP, I look for collections of players in public places who have been active in the last ten minutes or so. Very often, there's no such grouping."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As for guilds and cities in Iron Elite, that's a question outside of our control. However, keep in mind that many organizations have a decent supply of credits as-is. The best way to grow that supply is to make your organization vibrant and engaging for players, because happy players are more likely to make a credit purchase. The recurring Iron Elite tends to be a set-and-forget sort of thing."
    -
    Warrior of Azvosh, Roxi, Sazi wo Abdal says, "Fair enough."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Killien!"
    -
    Killien Sai Cardinalis says, "I read over the first townhall and while I noted that gold came up and goldsinks, the people who mostly spoke up were longtime players. I stopped playing for about a year, and in that time, there was the radical change to gold drops with bashing, and a heavy focus on gold generation through questing. While I understand it is difficult to balance the value of gold and gold generation, the current method of gold generation precludes two parts of the playerbase: Those of us who highly enjoy (and will invest) in bashing, and true-blue new players who don't have the quests on lockdown. This makes it hard, especially for returning players who didn't enjoy questing or even new players who are still learning or attempting to even learn the game, to upkeep items once the initial grab bag starts to decay. When you do review current gold generation, is it being reviewed simply for leakage of excess gold, or a way to balance gold generation between questing and bashing to create generation avenues in more ways (especially when comms actually come back and I can attempt to get into crafting)?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It's easy to forget newer and less-resource-rich players in a time when so many have a giant glut of whatever they need. In reviewing current gold generation, I'm looking for ways to inject some gold into the lower- and mid-game areas in a way that isn't susceptible to abuse by the higher-end bashers, who may come in to clear an area in just a few minutes because the gold drops are better. That way, as prices rise in response to a reduced gold supply, giant stockpiles begin to drain but upstart characters are able to afford what they need."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Grulg."
    -
    Grulg Black-Skull says, "Just curious. Has there been any talk among you and other developers about possibly opening a player ran city on the new continent, sometime maybe in the far future?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As Albedos goes, nothing is out of the question. It's important for us to condense our population from its current state, however, and that means avoiding further reasons to separate. We are more likely to give players ways to interact with the civilizations on the continent than we are to draw citizenship away from our existing 4, at least in the foreseeable future."
    -
    Grulg Black-Skull says, "Thank you!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles and says, "Xenia."
    -
    Xenia Seirath-Vetra says, "You spoke about a desire to break up these small group dynamics, and attempting to get players to engage on a more communal level. While I love god/mobpos RP, I've also noticed a trend for people to be less engaged when a scene does not have admin involvement. In the last townhall I spoke a bit on a desire for a level of autonomy in regards to manipulating the environment to facilitate a more engaging experience, however the concern that this level of control would be too risky in the hands of players is one I can empathize with and understand. Are current plans towards facilitating communal engagement focused around volunteer involvement and do you think there could be room for granting more flexibility to the players in this way?"
    -
    Xenia Seirath-Vetra says, "Sort of a repeat from before, but I had hoped to hear more on what sort of plans you guys have in place, too!"
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Definitely a good evolution of what we discussed before. The short answer is that anything that helps US facilitate small-group RP usually also helps you rabble-rousers, too. Rousing your guildmates out of their Havens or attempting to track them down when scattered around the city takes some of the fun, organic feeling out of spontaneous roleplay. And while admin-driven RP interactions are awesome and I'd like to increase them, we're also relying on you guys to stir up some fun among yourselves, even if it doesn't leave a lasting impact on the game world. We've shifted from small-group roleplay to pretty private 1-on-1 storylines. Building a culture of small-group roleplay gives organizations more chances to spread their message and unique flavor, helps bring new players into the fold, and lets us know as administrators what you value about your day-to-day lives and where you'd like to see your part of the game's storyline lead."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Akaryuterra."
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "So this is a two-parter, a question, and a follow up about facilitation."
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "This is probably something that has been on your mind, both presently, and in the past, I think, and it's not really an easy subject to address. One of the things I have seen suffering for a while now would be the playerbase. In the past, I believe there was a brief advertising campaign, and an introduction to the platform Kongregate. Lately, there has been an infusion of players from MKO, after its closure, but I was wondering if there are more plans in the works for attempting to draw in new players."
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Aetolia can be a daunting place to try and grasp, especially with the variety of commands and the depth of lore involved, and based on previous questions in the last meeting it looks like you are looking to make information more accessible. There's only so much that can be done to increase access to lore, and help players learn the ever increasing syntax. As a tentative suggestion, would it be prohibitively costly to, say, include a basic syntax or command compendium of some sort to the app?"
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "I have seen at least three novices recently join the guild, and the first thing they want to do is be versed in the lore to find a place and a feel, but it's huge backlog."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "One of the frustrating things I discovered when I came behind the curtain as an administrator is that advertising, in any traditional sense, has almost no return-on-investment. Even Achaea, which is massive and could afford to spend a decent amount on getting the word out, just didn't see a lasting uptick in engagement from new players. We do have a pretty involved plan to make new players feel more welcome and more supported, to try to retain more of the players we bring in. I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say a command compendium in the app -- feel free to follow up -- but we'll have a strong focus on identifying and simplifying the role of each organization in our leader meeting this week, including ways to help communicate that message to potential org members."
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "By that, I mean a kind of dictionary of commands that might be browseable in the app, outside of direct play. It's a very minor aspect of the suggestion, and I'm not sure how much use it would see. The help system in-game provides a great deal of information at our fingertips, it was just an idea to make commends more readily available to new players, potentially."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "What app are you referring to? Our HELP system is fully available on the website, and our official IRE client (rebranded Nexus, but it's the one you get at client.aetolia.com) is pretty well integrated also."
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "The IRE helper app. Presently, it is primarily a means of keeping up with messages and news events."
    -
    Comprehension flashes across Oleis's face.
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Again, a very minor idea. You have answered the question pretty well, and the answer was essentially what I expected. Limited return on investment, hence my mention of how niche the game is."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Sorry, yes. That's something IRE bought out earlier this year, but it's not in active development, really. I'm not sure what it would take to do what you're suggesting, but its status as Android-only makes it hard for us to argue too much for extra work there. Thanks for clarifying, though. That makes a lot of sense."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "What I can offer on the advertisement side is an increased presence on mud forums, subreddits, etc. as we try to spread the word about Aetolia's plans and improvements in 2017."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Isia!"
    -
    Seeker Isia says, "Alright I have.. now two things since the app was mentioned. First, is there any way we can get more things to spend haven points on... those of use who hunt a lot get to the point of having all these points and nothing to do with them.. and secondly, is there going to be an IRE helper app for the iphone? I loved it when I had my android - I'm very bad about reading news in game and it was much easier for me to keep up with it on there but since we changed phones.. I really miss that."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I hate to use the brief answer, but I will mostly direct your Haven question to the first answered question in the previous Town Hall, on the forum thread. That has the bonus, in my opinion, of encouraging someone else to the forums! :) Havens are a difficult game design element, and we really don't want to encourage anyone to spend more time there. Expect us to look for more endgame opportunities outside of Havens. As for the IRE Helper app.. It's not likely that we'll see further app development there, given the push to make the Nexus client more mobile-friendly and the availability of news/messages on the Aetolia and Iron Realms websites."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles and says, "Michi."
    -
    Michi says, "Hi. Are there any plans for unplayed Gods and inactive Congregations or Orders? That's my favorite part of the game so it sucks to see one or two all the time and the other ones never. Thanks!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We've found pretty concretely that having fewer volunteers play more god roles is not healthy for them or the game at large. It tends to homogenize the deities and really blur the important character lines. However, we put a system in place in 2015 that makes it easier for us to be flexible with god roles and who plays what, so you may see the less-active Gods appear where it is appropriate to their role in large events, even if they're not active with their orders."
    -
    Michi says, "Okay, thanks!"
    -
    Oleis nods His head sagely.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Arbre, welcome back!"
    -
    Ser Arbre Aquila, Kennel Mistress says, "Why thank you."
    -
    Ser Arbre Aquila, Kennel Mistress says, "We discussed earlier the likelihood of nixing a guild or two to distribute the playerbase. Is there any chance of a CITY getting deleted, or does that create too much of a 2v1 scenario? Additionally, how well do you think the new leadership structure in Duiran is working out (if you can even answer that this early back into your tenure) and are there plans to change any of the other cities to this layout?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles with a wink and says, "Twice in a row you hit me with questions that make me choose my words carefully."
    -
    Trails of black smoke waft out lazily from the eye-holes of Grulg's mask, carrying with it the distinct scent of burning.
    -
    Arbre grins ferally.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "While I'm not ruling out the deletion of a city, especially if it's draining or otherwise toxic to the game, having four cities seems to actually be a pretty good fit. They each have different enough roles that players can make a conscious decision, and we avoid the three-way conflict, which you rightfully mention as a downside. I don't intend to rag on Imperian in any way, but my time there taught me without question that a three-way conflict tends to end up being different permutations of 2v1."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As it happens, all four cities have roughly equal populations right now."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "In terms of who's online."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "And that's true during my usual playtime, too."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Duiran was one of the first things our team told me about when I came back, and I think it was an excellent decision. When a city's leaders consistently buck their responsibilities to foster a healthy, supportive environment within the city with a strong face to the outside world, or when the city's populace is too volatile to support leaders, it's absolutely the administration's responsibility to step in and make focused changes to bring them in line."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Additionally, it brings the guilds closer to the city itself, which inadvertently foreshadows what we'll be striving for in 2017."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I don't think we'll use that exact solution for any of the other three cities, but I'm definitely looking for ways to shake up the leadership structure any time it's failing to do its job, and we have a wide variety of options for governments in this game."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Does that answer everything?"
    -
    Ser Arbre Aquila, Kennel Mistress says, "That would be really interesting (and a lot of work) for each city's government to be unique."
    -
    Ser Arbre Aquila, Kennel Mistress says, "It does, thank you."
    -
    Oleis beams at the world as His legs dance a flurried jig.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Close us out, Ilaina."
    -
    Seeker Ilaina says, "Ironically this kind of goes along with Arbre's, and I've been trying to figure out how to word this, since it's got the potential of offending people. Hopefully not. I come to Aetolia because I enjoy the lore and the history, as well as the flavor of the world since it's a bit different from the others. Unfortunately, Aetolia has gotten to this point of feeling stagnant. People don't talk to one another on communal channels. Greetings and questions often get ignored entirely. Some of the reasons I feel this is happening is because of the small player base, as well as the often unchanging leadership. Recently Houses in another game were deleted and remade, creating the opportunity for change, as well as renewed interest. I don't necessarily feel like doing that would immediately fix the current circumstances, but I do feel as if it has the potential to create new opportunity, and a need for long-term players to rethink where old, comfortable, existing characters
    are. It feels as if people are so set that they don't seem to have the impetus to interact or create engaging environments. Are there any plans to change guilds, their purpose, their structure, or anything of the sort into potentially entirely different organizations that'd require an overhaul of mindset and leadership?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Short answer: Absolutely. Long answer: I completely agree with your assessment of the situation, and it's one of the reasons I'm consistently arguing against anything that further segments the population. We'll be talking more detailed plans at the leadership meeting later this week, which is open to all players, but I'm looking to tie guilds and cities together in a much more official and lasting way. We don't have the population or the energy level for guilds and their cities to be at odds, but we have a great wealth of lore and flavor to exploit in telling stories. Bringing the cities and guilds together lets us paint broader strokes in building events and helps us catch more of the population with each attempt."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "However, you're not going to see a mass deletion of guilds or an upending of the overall guild structure. Instead, we're focused on keeping what players like while streamlining the experience a bit more."
    -
    Seeker Ilaina smiles and says, "Great. Thank you."
    -
    "Sure!" Oleis says agreeably.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Well, that's the end of our queue! I'll stay for a few moments to answer some questions and take care of any follow-ups with you all, but it's about 2:30am for me, so I won't hesitate to bring the official meeting to a close. Thank you all so much for attending and sharing your thoughts with me. I can't tell you how valuable it is to have a more direct read of what's on your minds while we draw up the plans for the first half of next year."
    -
    The town hall meeting has ended.
    Post edited by Oleis on
    You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
    [---]
    "^," Slyphe agrees with you.
  • OleisOleis Producer Emeritus Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,393 admin
    edited December 2016
    PvP Meeting Log
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Like the previous Town Halls, this is an open forum wherein you queue up to ask questions."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "However, in this one, the focus is specifically PvP concerns."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Kelliara will start us off with a question. If you notice your position in the queue advancing, go ahead and prepare your question, please."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Eliadon, Wylliam and Zaila come next, for reference."
    -
    Doyen Kelliara Vetra says, "Sorry to just jump right in, but my time is limited this morning. So I'm gonna be sneaky and ask a two parter. One, how do you feel the state of PVP stands at the moment, and two, what changes to the pvp field do you anticipate with the release of the wayfarer class?"
    -
    Doyen Kelliara Vetra frowns and says, "If those both make sense."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's okay. We have a benefit of a little looser formula in this meeting, since the scope is relatively narrow."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I think the largest problem in PvP is also the largest problem in the overall game -- Participation is down. Even as we have a fairly large population, both relative to our history and relative to the other games, our PvP interaction tends to come at the times when it's mechanically mandated. There's not much in the way of spontaneous combat or conflict, despite a conflict-friendly administration and fairly comprehensible (and comprehensive) PK rules."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Wayfarers are exciting because they offer some new experiments in class mechanics, and they further a trend toward specialization within a class, but they're ultimately not meant to shake up the state of combat. They're straightforward fun."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Though I will say that having some team buffs and other support-style elements is new to Aetolia, and pretty neat."
    -
    Doyen Kelliara Vetra says, "Going back briefly to your response to my first question: Is there some plan or strategy in mind to help promote more healthy pvp?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "While we do have more conflict mechanisms coming to increase the opportunities for PvP, the onus for revitalizing the PvP scene is in part in the hands of the players. Maintaining a positive attitude, not knocking the state of things to newcomers or people who might be new to combat specifically. We all know those times when complaints are up but classlead engagement is down."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But offering more and more diverse opportunities for strategies within those encounters should inspire some new creativity on the part of our players, and that tends to be addictive."
    -
    Doyen Kelliara Vetra smiles and says, "Thanks! I'll shut up and let the next person have their turn now."
    -
    Oleis waggles His eyebrows comically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Eliadon, please."
    -
    Docent Eliadon says, "Group combat has this interesting problem where it rapidly devolves in to 'who can DPS the hardest' after a certain group size. There has probably been some thought on this over the years, and is certainly a problem in other IRE games. Essentially, I'd like to see some means of discouraging dogpiling on one target. The Crown of Omens has some mechanics that help mitigate multiple people hitting one person, so the idea of nerfing multiple people hitting one person isn't terribly radical: could we perhaps see something like this, or increased balance/equilibrium time, or perhaps an aeon-like effect for when people try to mass spam on the same target? There is nothing skillful about trying to mash bashing attacks on one target, and this is one of the largest reasons why I personally fail to enjoy combat like what occurred with the Orrery: sure, we 'won', but it was via sitting on the orrery with an overwhelming number of people, and was overall.. not very engaging."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I think there's a spectrum when it comes to what we can demand from our players in team fights. Actively punishing them for dogpiling falls on the more extreme end of that spectrum, especially when one of our goals is to involve more new players in combat, and all of us started by tagging along to whatever the more experienced folks were doing."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But there does come a time in the larger group fights where you're useless if you get popped first or second. I'm open to the possibility of diminishing returns on damage. However, it might be more intriguing if we can implement and then incentivize the use of more diverse abilities in combat than damage, to promote that idea of group strategy above focus fire."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Might be a situation where we take a little from each column."
    -
    Docent Eliadon says, "Aye, there's not an easy solution for this one."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's a great question, though, and an important thing to keep in mind while we work on combat."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Wylliam."
    -
    Wylliam Laidir, Fionna`Faol says, "Aetolia has always had it's up and downs with combat, and there has always been a division with those that code and those unable to code or not really good at it so they do other things and feel afraid to jump in, the web page makes it at least easier to get into some things right off the bat with no coding, will Aetolia improve on Firstaid even more so that even non coders can feel comfortable with at least group combat if not PvP and combat conflicts?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I would argue that first aid is more than capable at handling group combat currently, but there's never going to be a time when we look at it and say "Naw, that'd be too good.""
    -
    Wylliam Laidir, Fionna`Faol says, "Well yes, group confict but one one one, it's not as effective."
    -
    Wylliam Laidir, Fionna`Faol says, "And might be why combat is down one on one."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Our requirements for getting into combat, from a coding perspective, are lower than ever."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Our firstaid/autocuring is probably the best across all of IRE, and against all but the high-end curing, it's going to hold its own. Automating it entirely to handle the high-end situations is not really in our best interests, because combat eventually requires an element of human choice."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The best curers in Aetolia are shifting their priorities and making predictions about afflictions. Some of that is automated, but it also relies on instinct and practice."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Of course, we're always taking suggestions to improve."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Feel free to message/email or start a forum thread in that regard."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Zaila!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Thanks to serious improvements in the Nexus client, that honestly is a good starting point for non-coders. It's got an extremely intuitive interfact for basic scripting so that there's not much barrier between thinking of your combat strategy and implementing it in the client."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We're not going to take that server-side, however."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If there's an area we can improve in that regard, it's making classes more accessibel from a strategy standpoint, so that you see less of a giant wall of abilities and more of a starting route to a kill strategy. Guilds and clans largely fill in the blanks there, too."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Didi!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles and says, "An unexpected face at this meeting."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Ilyon, Trikal, Teani are next."
    -
    Didi Lionheart says, "Learning a lot thanks go ahead."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles and says, "Ilyon."
    -
    Haruspex Ilyon Bahir'an says, "Heya. First, I'd comment on Eliadon's question and say that in my opinion/experience, the means of discouraging "dogpiling" already exist, and are, barring some specific situations, mostly adequate."
    -
    Haruspex Ilyon Bahir'an says, "As for the question, I have two. One! There were multiple pvp-related projects listed both on these meetings and earlier - warsystem, new class, some revamp, probably more. Obviously these can't all happen at the some time, soo -- is there a schedule / priority list for these, and if so, which of these are anticipated to show up first?"
    -
    Haruspex Ilyon Bahir'an says, "And two! The dreaded war system. What's the good word regarding that? Anything interesting we can look forward to, or is it even in the cards at all still?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Good questions!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "In my year away from Aetolia, I was basically out of contact with anything that was brewing (as evidenced in my occasional confusion at earlier meetings. Ooooops). Since coming back, I've had to take a look at each hint, promise, and what-if and decide to go forward, scrap, delay, or reshape."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The War system was one of those that's definitely going forward, but not at the state it was. There's a design document, and we've been working on molding it into something new. I can say it'll come, and it will be a large priority for our team in the next few months, but you should not expect its arrival to be imminent."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "You'll learn much more as parts of it get finalized."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "For new class -- Wayfarers are in final testing, to release in January."
    -
    Haruspex Ilyon Bahir'an says, "That's impressive!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Cabalist revamp is not forgotten. We've set a firm finish line of mid-January. If it's not going to work there, it's not going to work and it'll get put down. Revamps are general are going to take a backseat in the first half of 2017."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But the wonderful thing is, our priorities can be a bit more bountiful than one might think. With three paid coders, we have no excuse in terms of labor for getting stuff implemented and ready to go. The difficulty is more on the design side of things, and that's where we tend to shoot ourselves in the foot in announcing something and then not being able to formulate a compelling design."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused laughingly says, "Did I hit all the points?"
    -
    Haruspex Ilyon Bahir'an says, "I think you did, thanks!"
    -
    Flashing a wide grin, Oleis gives the thumbs-up sign.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Trikal."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Teani, Samos, and Tenshyo to follow."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Hi, so the way I see it there's three main issues with our current PvP system..."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "First is inherent balancing which we're handling with classleads, so long as those continue regularly that should be fine."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Quarterly in 2017."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Second you touched on which is organic conflicts don't seem to happen without mechanical means, liek the orrery."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Problem with that is without a mechanical end, it turns into who's going to be more stubborn about losing whatever 'war' it is that you're having, so without a mechanic to signify that the conflict devolves into just griefy and bad feelings all around."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "And third Eliadon touched on which is group fighting after a certain point, usually around 4 or 5 to a side it just turns into who has more manpower, which makes people not even want to bother trying to fight in the few things we do have, like ylem and such because there's no gain and almost certain waste of your time. Ideally there could be some sort of benefits to just attempting to get into participation of these kinds of things."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Ylem for instance if your team assaults a lesser and get repelled you haven't gained anything, while at a major at least being in the area you get a little exp or ylem or whatever."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "It sounds like you guys have a few things in mind with wayfarer to introduce some new group strategy which is amazing because right now after that point it really gets into who has a better targetcaller and faster people smacking."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Just want to know what you think for organic conflict without mechanical means that you mentioned and I look forward to group changes with this class, although not extremely excited about having to spend 1400 credits to insure we have that support role filled."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Well, organic conflict is typically the result of adversarial roleplay. You sort of shoe-horned its purpose and genesis into wars (and I do agree that wars get griefy without mechanical guidelines and boundaries), but we're entirely neglecting the idea of just getting into a fight with someone your character doesn't like very much."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It loops back to our conversations in previous meetings and elsewhere about neutrality and polarization."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Polarization and tethers are important because to make this game alive, you need to hate the other side enough to kill them. That doesn't mean that every character has to be hardcore aligned with his or her tether, but it does mean that you can't be so friendly as to not want to murder them without a ylem reward."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "My character can pretty easily decide he doesn't like anyone from enorian or duiran, but that's still going to turn into griefy, like when I waged my two man war on Duiran with Akara, that turned into a lot of just bad feelings."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Well, no, I'm referring to interacting with another person and having a fight."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Not killing lightsiders because they're lightsiders."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Yeah for me that's not realistic though."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Also, to avoid getting this twisted, Wayfarers kill people with axes. They're not supportive in nature, though they have a couple support-oriented abilities."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "They're more on the brutal murder side of things."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Http://forums.aetolia.com/discussion/2383/the-wastelands-of-albedos for those who don't frequent the forums."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Not liking someone isn't really a good way for someone of higher caliber PvP."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "And the people who are competitive with me end up being people I spend most time around due to practicing combat, regardless of size because of our smaller playerbase."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I may have been lost in the nuance of your question, then. "organic" PvP refers to something that happens without a mechanical impetus like Foci. In that sense, organic PvP really CAN only come from roleplay."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "PvP practice and opportunities in general are WELL-spurred by mechanical impetus, and we intend to provide more of that, like Foci, Orrery, and an eventual War System."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "But you say I should be polarized to want to kill without the reward of ylem, yet not kill just because they're lightsiders?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If you admittedly don't engage in a lot of roleplay, I can't expect you to find meaning in that distinction."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "I'm not really seeing the middle ground where the organic PvP comes into play where I'm not just the jackass who runs around and murders all of the city leaders."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "I engage in roleplay just not with the enemy."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The long and short of my view on this topic is that getting more players involved with combat, at every skill level, is beneficial to the state of PvP in that it gives more potential targets and more opportunities for antagonistic roleplay. The burden is on players and my consistent enforcement of PvP rules to maintain boundaries and keep the experience fun."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "In the interest of time, I'm going to move on, but feel free to hit me up on forums or privately if I'm still leaving something out."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Teani, please."
    -
    Shadow Warden Teani Tash'Vetra says, in a feral tongue, "My question was sort of already touched on, so I'm just going to mention this..."
    -
    Shadow Warden Teani Tash'Vetra says, in a feral tongue, "I think too many in this game are too set on the need to win all the time. It's bad to lose, even if you don't lose anything really. It can be difficult to find someone who is on -just- the right level for you to have a conflict with to make it fun for both sides. Trikal is in a league of his own, so if he RP'd a scene and developed a sense of dislike for one person, it's quite likely it might end up feeling like grief for that other person because they stand less of a chance to retaliate. Unless they bring other people, which makes some people itch to bring just one more person into the conflict to tip the balance. In Trikal's case, this might be fine, but I'm not certain everyone is on the same page. I wonder if there's a way to find that balance for everyone without some push from Admin to a more positive attitude."
    -
    Shadow Warden Teani Tash'Vetra says, in a feral tongue, "Would generally be good for people to accept that you can lose."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I could not agree more. Part of removing barriers to combat is reducing the penalty that comes with death and defeat. Many people end up observing that that comes with a reduced 'meaning' to death, but the mechanical benefits win out."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The only thing really hurting you in PvP loss is ego, and that can be a hard thing to say goodbye to."
    -
    Shadow Warden Teani Tash'Vetra says, in a feral tongue, "I don't suppose this is the right time for class-specific questions, by the way?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But I intend to maintain a positive attitude about winning and losing in PvP, and while I'm sympathetic to people who are frustrated and DEFINITELY proactive about handling truly abusive situations, at some point I have to shrug and tell them to take a salt tablet."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "What's on your mind?"
    -
    Shadow Warden Teani Tash'Vetra says, in a feral tongue, "Any chance the mage classes will see a loss to their trade skill soon? And if so, will they see further separation between the two mage classes rather than mirror abilities of one another?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It's not a priority for us right now, but when it happens, I'd expect it to be in the league of a full revamp. Fairly different sets of skills and entirely different flavors."
    -
    Shadow Warden Teani Tash'Vetra says, in a feral tongue, "Awesome, thanks!"
    -
    "Sure!" Oleis says agreeably.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Samos, Tenshyo, Akaryuterra, Phoenecia."
    -
    Awakened, Lord Samos Cardinalis says, "Yo! So, Ilyon and Trikal hit on what I wanted to talk about, really. But I'll make this observational note: Divine can create Holy Wars. The bloodiest battles are ones based on faith. Can we expect to see more interaction from the Divine, in a way that will allow us to explore religious conflict? Witch-hunts, and the like?"
    -
    Awakened, Lord Samos Cardinalis says, "That wouldn't necessarily require a war system, per se."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The Holy War mechanic as it currently exists isn't going to see a lot of use, because it tends to devolve into that griefy, low-boundary stuff we were discussing a minute ago. But religious conflict is far from gone in Aetolia, both on a grand scale and on a player-to-player scale."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused smiles and says, "That's all I can say for now."
    -
    Awakened, Lord Samos Cardinalis says, "Alright, great."
    -
    Awakened, Lord Samos Cardinalis says, "Tenshy! Take 'er away!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Last call for Tenshyo."
    -
    Khimaira Tenshyo Tanarian, fio Unarhete Iahulo says, "Trikal actually mentioned a good chunk of what I was going to ask about. Especially in regards seemingly griefy ends to things. - This is especially true where individual sides are concerned and the sort, as I am sure we all will admit to. Forgive me if this isn't the best place for the question(s) but with the potential war system, will we see another change to the current commodities and cities not producing? Or will they remain as "hope the other cities haven't bought out the villages again"?"
    -
    Comprehension flashes across Oleis's face.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "You can find some more in-depth conversation in the town hall logs from earlier this week (I think the second had the bulk of it), but the war system will have an enormous impact on commodity production. We will also be making some smaller changes in the meantime."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Akaryuterra."
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "I would just like to ask for a clarification of the line in a previous answer 'We've set a firm finish line of mid-January. If it's not going to work there, it's not going to work and it'll get put down'. Assuming that means 'delayed till later in 2017'?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If the revamp is not viable, we'll devote more resources in the classlead round to addressing player-submitted concerns and suggestions. And then, yeah, it remains at the top of the list to receive revamp attention."
    -
    Commissar Akaryuterra Ryotega Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Thank you."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Phoenecia."
    -
    Initiate Phoenecia Sinclair says, "So my question was already touched on, but I was going to ask in regards to Holy Wars and Order conflict in general. The avenues for generating organic conflict are there, and there's been ample opportunities, but people are extremely reluctant to - or even outright avoid - even aggressing against the opposing side at all outside of ylem fights and now the orrery. Do you feel it's a problem of flawed mechanics or a problem the players themselves should be solving?"
    -
    Initiate Phoenecia Sinclair says, "It used to be you'd see an occasional raid on another city, or people defiling shrines. That doesn't seem to happen much anymore."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Holy wars are just another mechanical avenue, though, in the same vein of ylem and orrery. I'm not sure we can use them as an example of something outside those situations. The issue of organic PvP is one of player motivation. It's arguably fair to assign part of that blame to us for not providing external motivation, but it's also a symptom of a growing trend of inactivity."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If players aren't looking for ways to spark conflict between themselves and other players or other organizations, there's not going to be conflict."
    -
    Initiate Phoenecia Sinclair says, "That's sort of a problem I've noticed. Players themselves seem to be trying to avoid conflict outside of ylem and orrery."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I have a hard time understanding why, frankly, and maybe you all can help me there. PvP rules are fairly forgiving, and mechanical consequences for death are low."
    -
    Wryly, Initiate Phoenecia Sinclair says, "I've seen instances of defiling enemy shrines, and your own org punishes you for it despite taking an active stance against the opposing side."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If the difficulty is setting boundaries and knowing when to stop, the answer is almost always roleplay. It's an IRE trope to have an inter-city conflict and the tiny, undersupported community is the one refusing to concede."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If one organization or player is aggressing and is not respond to a desire on the part of the losing party to capitulate, that's something that needs to be brought to my attention."
    -
    Initiate Phoenecia Sinclair says, "Hard to say, since any chance for conflict gets killed before it can even start."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That'll be on the table for our org leader meeting in about an hour."
    -
    Initiate Phoenecia Sinclair says, "Yeah, I was planning in fielding that question there too."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Finding the appropriate line between reining in troublesome citizens and turtling to avoid conflict."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay, need to move along for now."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Skipping Wylliam to get to first-time asker Mazarine, then will loop back."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Last call for Mazarine."
    -
    Ser Mazarine Sor'Tirivan, the Dark Horse asks, "This may be better said at Keroc, but I wanted to get your input on it from the side of economics with the game. The barrier to entry for mage classes is hindered by the 800cr crown for eq recovery, something that melee doesn't have to deal with. Do you think that if this wasn't there we would see more people willing to try out magic classes? As a follow-up, if your answer is positive, do you think it would be a net gain that people would be buying more credits to spend on other stats instead of being forced to buy the crown and then feeling bad it only helps minimally for not-those-classes?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Frankly, I wouldn't mind refunding the crown and making balance adjustments as necessary."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm not committing to that, but it's my honest opinion on the matter."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That disparity is not helpful to class design in any way."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Our new classes tend to rely on secondary balance as a limiting factor anyway."
    -
    Ser Mazarine Sor'Tirivan, the Dark Horse says, "As a customer, it's very discouraging to be forced to have to buy it on a character just to have the -actual- base level chance to be competitive, rather than what you're given as skills. Just food for thought, I appreciate the honesty."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The ideal situation is one where you're not FORCED, but it confers an advantage."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Unfortunately, that hasn't proven to be realistic."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Let's catch Wylliam, and then we'll call it a day so I can figure out why the cat is losing her mind before this leadership meeting."
    -
    A figure obscured by vines says, "Actually my question was already answered with Tenshyo, thanks."
    -
    Flashing a wide grin, Oleis gives the thumbs-up sign.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Thanks for attending, folks. I hope this has been enlightening."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We'll break until the top of the hour for the leadership meeting, which is open to all but where leaders will ask the questions."
    -
    The town hall meeting has ended.
    Post edited by Oleis on
    You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
    [---]
    "^," Slyphe agrees with you.
  • OleisOleis Producer Emeritus Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,393 admin
    edited December 2016
    Leader Meeting log.

    Oleis, the Infused says, "The format here is a little bit different. We have some set topics to discuss. I'll present some information, and then we'll chat about it, then continue on to a new topic."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "At the end, if there are lingering questions, we'll open up Q&A to the leaders."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "First things first. Leaders, in my context here, refers to: Order heads, house heads, guildmasters, city leaders and councilmembers."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "To those of you not in that group, I just sent a message on the newly-enabled 'Leaders' communication channel."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It is an experiment in letting org leaders lean on one another for advice and to address policy clarifications with me."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It should not be used as a way to resolve IC conflicts, and I'm going to come down pretty heavily on that."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If it doesn't work, we'll have to shut it back off, but I'm interested in seeing where it might benefit us."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Ah, Trikal informs me that Order heads may not be on that channel currently."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "You are still welcome to take part in the discussion here."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "No, it's just for the direct leaders."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Since that question was raised."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Now that we've gotten over the shiny, let's talk implications."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The coming months are going to mean a lot more presence from me and my team into org workings. I have no desire to influence day-to-day decisions or talk you out of most things, but we've had a few instances of orgs getting way off track in recent memory, and coaching is a great way to avoid those problems."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "You can expect to have me checking in with you every so often, looking to see if you have any big problems on your mind, and addressing anything that might be cause for concern on our end."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Without healthy organizations, we're not going to retain players, and no one really has a good time."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If we have consistent problems, and direct communication with the organization leader either isn't helping or can't help due to the nature of the problem, I'll have a sit down with as many guild members as can be present."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm going to open discussion to leaders briefly if anyone has thoughts on that."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "No queue necessary for this part."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "You should be able to speak."
    -
    Aloli Gallant Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "I do have a question, when you say organizations have gone way off track, can you elaborate a little on your thoughts with that?"
    -
    Aisling's breath traces cold tendrils in the air, the unfurling frost dissipating with a wintry chill.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We've had at least one guild in recent history that had essentially removed itself from reality, refusing to work with us on pressing issues and not sharing that information with the guild members."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It was creating a toxic experience for the game and the members."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "There's also the matter in Duiran most recently. We had some significant issues with leadership and maintaining a healthy environment, so Razmael made corrective changes."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Those seem to be working great, so that's a success story for this model of org management."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Any other thoughts?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Moment, just checking on some communication issues."
    -
    Phantom Neoma Bouchard, the Relentless says, "We have too much daydreaming and that discourages new comers, they see people on cwho or gwho but speak and hear nothing back, and yes I am guilty of that also. The reason is mainly to keep a higher score on topguilds so maybe that whole topguild thing could be just removed."
    -
    Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Topguilds sure hasn't actually meant anything that anyone can quantify for a long time."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "Pretty sure just idling doesn't help on topguilds anyways."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay, communication issues should be solved."
    -
    Cariv D'baen, Fang of Cardinalis says, "Personally as a fervent idler, I do not do it for any reason at all related to topguilds."
    -
    A figure wrapped in darkness says, "It sure meant something in Imperian before they starting axing guilds."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'll delete topguilds tonight."
    -
    Nucemail Erzsebet Ve'kahi, Padishe Nimir'a says, "Tophouses is directly manipulatable and worse."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I have no use for it."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "Will orgs that have not had problems previously still get a bit of direction? Given the nature of lore impact on guilds, I'm hoping to get a bit of guidance on how to better involve certain bits of lore and flavor text into the day to day."
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "I'm just gonna chime in and say I'm glad that you've said that because with Shamans being fairly new, I'm working almost entirely from scratch here. There's few records and little to build on, so it would be nice to get more input and direction on things. I'm doing the best I can to string things together into a common purpose/goal but more guidance would be fantastic to make sure we stay on track."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says to Knight Rasani Morrog, "Yes. You can expect to hear from me whether you're struggling or doing great."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "I think your idea of admin management when needed is fine. I've seen organizations that seem to have no purpose or direction, and I've seen promising new players quit the game outright because of it. Players simply get bored or see no hope for advancement. On that note, will we be seeing more custom-tailored events for guilds to help keep people entertained? If so, will you be receptive to orgreqs for event ideas? And what happens to an org in which nobody steps up to take on the reins of leadership?"
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says to Fezzix Sicarius, "Yea that, that would be awesome."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "In general, I don't think custom-tailored events necessarily give hope for advancement or give an organization purpose to any degree more effective than an involved leader might."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But we're slipping into later meeting territory."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "To answer your last question, Fezzix, if there's a guild that doesn't have a clear leader, that seems to be a guild that's not sustaining itself."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "And we'd go from there."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Our next topic came up at the PvP meeting and bears discussion here."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "A few people there expressed concern with the idea that org leaders might be stifling conflict out of fear of inviting lasting retribution or basically prompting griefing from the offended party."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I want to emphasize that our conflict should be rooted in genuine roleplay. If it makes sense for your organization to become aggressive in the face of a diplomatic slight, or if one of your org members is waging a righteous campaign against another party, dealing with the ramifications with that is an awesome opportunity for good, genuine roleplay."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If that evolves into griefing, that's what the issue system is for, and I don't hesitate to make a decision."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As onlookers expressed some confusion with open discussion (and who can blame them, when it's impossible to know if you're talking over someone), I'm enabling the queue. Only leaders will be given a chance to comment."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Queue if you'd like to comment/query."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Fezzix starts us."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Then Rhyot, Rasani, Cariv. Will end questioning there and move it to a later discussion."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "What are your plans for org leaders who continue to stifle conflict driven RP out of fear of retribution?"
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "Especially some of the orgs that likely -should- be more combat-oriented."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If org leaders aren't responsive to my feedback in allowing conflict, especially conflict that is germane to their role in Aetolia's world, I would hope that players take that as an in-role sign of weakness and use democracy to their advantage."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Outside of that, I would have to speak to the specifics of the situation."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But you can expect that I would find a way to correct the problem."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "Thank you."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Rhyot."
    -
    A figure wrapped in darkness says, "I've two questions, so I'll paste them both relatively quickly."
    -
    A figure wrapped in darkness says, "Question 1) Vampire roleplay has gone down the proverbial shitter because of the various organizations that we fall in: city, Dominion, Houses. Hardly anyone cares to play a vampire anymore and of those who do, eventually quit after a few days. There are few newbies who stay around. Part of the problem lies with the three-way system we currently have, as well as the restrictions Houses place on those who may/may not Sire. So is there any change in store for Houses/Dominion, such as the complete elimination of them or something to make them a little more important or not as important?"
    -
    A figure wrapped in darkness says, "Say question 2) When it comes to activity, its been stated that people don't navigate in central areas, like West Gate, Inner Gate, etc because they have havens to afk in or to perform their cliquey roleplay that cliques do with their cliques. Did I say we have cliques enough? So my question is more this, are there any plans to eliminate the need for havens to foster a better roleplay environment instead of clique-like groups of roleplay that tend to be around now?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It came up in a previous townhall, but streamlining the vampirism experience is a huge priority of mine in this first part of 2017. It's arguably our most identifiable trait to non-IRE players, but it's lost in bad code and archaic game practices a lot of the time. When we do land them, they're stifled by inconsistent RP."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I don't want to get into details right now, but you can definitely count on plans to alleviate those issues."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "To your second point, I'm going to do whatever I can to incentivize staying out of Havens and city portals. City propers should be mostly safe, all things considered. Raiding inside a city is not impossible, but it is impractical, as opposed to say a siege or battle outside the city limits that invites defense."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Citizens should be interacting with their cities, period, and that's something we can address directly."
    -
    A figure wrapped in darkness says, "Fair points."
    -
    A figure wrapped in darkness says, "Thank you."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Bear in mind that I'm looking for responses about fostering and maintaining conflict, though. Not a jab at Rhyot, as I certainly let him get me distracted."
    -
    Oleis winks knowingly.
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "I think there's a bit of a downfall in raids and such due to the griefy ones we've had in recent memory, and partly because people are a bit worried about the comms loss. I'm sort of hoping that this leadership channel will allow leaders in general to sort of figure out a better way to create conflict within the game. Is this an acceptable use of the channel?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Planning story arcs among yourselves? Yes. Trying to resolve a grudgematch? Not necessarily. I want to emphasize the importance of IC diplomacy to respond to IC events."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "So much of our interaction that should be in-game is moving to outside channels. I'm hopeful that by giving you the opportunity to start things out-of-character, you'll finish them in-character."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Cariv is our last question for this portion about conflict."
    -
    Cariv D'baen, Fang of Cardinalis says, "I agree with what you said Oleis, regarding organizations and PVP consequences and such. An example being the events that unfolded with Lait a while back. Her actions led to roleplayed and active PK conflict, which led to the organization having to make decisions to submit to our demands or face a war. The response from the org in question was a bit surprising, as they elected to rid themselves of the person causing the problems, but it led to an actual roleplayed consequence and interaction as a result of the players actions, instead of just being ignored and essentially treated as 'its a game they can do what they want to do' situation. That real-life interaction of and resulting consequences brought back a lot of the feeling I had from early in my Aetolia history when it felt like your actions carried weight and the community drove the storyline to some degree. One of the biggest detriments I've found to Aetolia over time has been the concept of any and all conflict being considered 'griefy', especially as Forums became part of our community. I have felt like there are a lot of opportunities to create more structured conflict scenarios for raiding and other possible conflict avenues but have seen little evolution over the years, instead just seeing more and more things taken off the table due to unrest and hurt feelings."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As we continue, please avoid referring to specific players, as they won't have a chance to respond on the merits of the discussion."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But let's see here."
    -
    Cariv D'baen, Fang of Cardinalis says, "Sorry, wasns't meant to insult or direct anything at them, was just relating to a specific interaction most people probably remembered to some degree relating to the subject."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I understand."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Yeah, it seems like we're on the same page here. As it came up in the PvP meeting, the consequences for losing in conflict are lower than ever. The only barrier is pride. The sooner we accept the possibility that we might lose, the sooner we can come back and be on top. Just as city membership and PvP interest are cyclical and ever-changing, the balance of power will shift from place to place pretty dramatically over time."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay, moving on to orgreqs."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "They were implemented as a way of shifting OOC communication and requests from the Patron system to a more realistic social contract between player and admin. This allowed orgs to select patrons who matched their ideals and principles rather than whoever was active and sort of compatible."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As time has gone by, the requests have gotten larger and broader in their scope, to the point that we could sustain a full part time staff member to do nothing bot those."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's not sustainable, and it's not overall that beneficial to the game at large."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Furthermore, accepting these large projects and then having them stall from volunteer forgetfulness or turnover is damaging to the relationship between you guys and us."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I want you to feel like your passion in your orgs is rewarded, and I want to help you run with ideas that make your org feel more alive."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But the tendency is to swing toward a custom tailored event or highly interactive hardcoded scenario, to the exclusion of actually getting together with whoever's online and roleplaying."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "So in the future, I'll be handling orgrequests almost exclusively, and I'll be rejecting anything that falls outside the scope of how I'm looking to use them. We're aiming for small, manageable projects that add significant value to the -daily- lives of your org members."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The counterpoint is that we'll be making a broader effort as a team to interact with your organizations through possessed mobiles to stir up frequent flavor interactions."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The more accessible you are to roleplay, the better we'll be able to accomplish that goal."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm going to open the queue again for clarifications and questions about the orgreq system. I'll take 4-5 once again and continue."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Rhyot starts us."
    -
    A figure wrapped in darkness says, "You say you want org requests to be more geared towards the daily lives, which I agree with and is fine. If we wanted to have an org request to input something that we can use for multiple/future events, can we do that as well? And if so, what are the roleplay restrictions of such?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If it's something that would play into a frequent, consistent org ritual/event, I'm open to that."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It'll be case-by-case largely, but I'm not diametrically opposed."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Aymah, please."
    -
    Aymah Adesso says, "I want to say that the orgreq system is -awesome-, it has been a great tool for the Sentinels, as an example that fits into what Oleis is seeking, I'm thinking, we have body paint and it gives the guild a lot of flavor. It is used for oaths and sacraments and whatnot. If you'll be handling it yourself, is there a way we could communicate more fluidly about it, through the system itself?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Yeah, you'll get comments on the orgreqs and we can always go visible and chat."
    -
    Aymah Adesso says, "Right now we had an orgreq sit in there for quite a while and finally got rejected. I feel that not knowing what's going on with one of these kind of stalls coming up with new ones. Also, is there any way that the organization leader could give permission to one of their collaborators, eg a secretary, to participate and edit a specific orgreq?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "When I came back on, I sort of cleaned out what was there and kept a few pending while I made decisions about the long-term goals of the system."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But yes, you can comment requesting that we add a 'watcher', who will also get notifications of any changes and be able to join the conversation."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "What I will most likely do tonight is reject a large portion of what's pending now, as it falls outside that scope, and move forward with this new direction now that I've articulated it."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Kanivara."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Will take Pilar and Erzsebet next, then move on."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "Sec, writing it out."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "I'm looking for an example of something that would fit under the scope. Way back, like maybe a RL year ago, I got some sheep for Spines, and the Celani who helped was going to put them on a breeding schedule and there was supposed to be a shepherd who sold sheep-based products. A flavor thing, really, but one I was excited about. Is this something that would fit the scope or no? Mind, I'm not going to try and get it done now since it's been so long, but this is something that popped in mind as an example."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The breeding schedule, depending on complexity, might be a little overkill, but a guy selling his sheep-related wares is amusing."
    -
    Aisling's breath traces cold tendrils in the air, the unfurling frost dissipating with a wintry chill.
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir laughingly says, "I'm planning to go pesk Helba for some goats, so maybe we can talk about it later."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "'and I hate to say this, but cities, in terms of population alone, are going to have a higher ceiling for effort-vs-reward than, say, a smaller guild or House."
    -
    Flashing a wide grin, Oleis gives the thumbs-up sign.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Pilar is next, then Erzsebet to close out this portion."
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "One sec."
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "With Shamans being fairly new and needing a lot of little culture things, knowing all this is very helpful so thank you. My question however is more for Order leaders, will orgreqs for Gods still be looked at even if that particular God is absent or mostly absent? Like Haern is sometimes here, sometimes not, but as a priestess it would be cool to have some little things for congregants and flavor stuff for Order members. I just don't want to write something and then it just sits or never gets looked at. For example, right now everything I have that's Haern related is from Haern himself but this is an exception to most regular people. I'd like to see religion be able to affect the every day person who might not even follow a God really see something other than shrines."
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "Hope I'm making sense here."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Orders definitely fall on the small side of the population scale, typically, so that effort-to-reward margin is thinner. One important metric is interactivity: scripted sequences of room emotes are way more complex than something static. So, for example, a special item that order members get is totally appropriate."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "A brief ritual with some limited in-room code support, where you stir a brazier or ring a bell to some response? Cool."
    -
    Hand of the Praadi, Pilar dur Naya says, "Yes, stuff like that. Day to day things that you would see in most religions."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Some of these requests have edged into the territory of minutes-long cutscenes, though, and that's bananas for how rarely they would get used."
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Last up is Erzsebet!"
    -
    Nucemail Erzsebet Ve'kahi, Padishe Nimir'a says, "So orgreqs that are used for org flavour stuff, to help establish the general organizational atmosphere / orgreqs intended to create lures to spend time in certain places relevant to the organization fall on which side of the line? Additionally curious--houses, specifically, were offered NPCs as part of the Gaes thing. I've used a lot of orgreqs to make them more awesome in varied ways, but we were initially promised that they'd be able to advance--from thrall/fledgling to full blooded. Would orgreqs be the way to get that accomplished? Also--this may be alleviated if you're doing it personally, but is there any way we can get a -command- that adds a watcher? Or even an assignable org priv that lets anyone above a certain rank see it? In theory we can always ask, and in practice, at least historically, it almost never gets done."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "One of our topics at earlier townhall meetings was volunteers promising things without producer oversight, or generally committing to things without having a clear pathway to implementation and release."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "In this situation, those things weren't started, much less finished, and the volunteer who promised them is LONG gone. It's not something I would have signed off on, frankly."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "However."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Using orgreqs to make changes to an org-loyal mobile makes a lot of sense, and is a great use of the system."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It's the deep interactivity and detail that raises a sticking point in this situation, that's all."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'd like to keep the watchers as part of my duties right now, but you can expect a much quicker response than you had previously."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay, that closes out orgreq chat."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Before we open up to general chat, there's one more large shift I want to announce and address."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We've identified as an administrative team and as a population in these town hall meetings that the playerbase is too segmented to be healthy, and that we need to do better about bringing players together within their tethers."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I have ruled out deleting cities, and I am not intending to delete any guilds, unless they prove to be consistently unhealthy as described at the beginning of this meeting."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But I do want to draw the two together in a more immediate way, so that they feel less like separate organizations and more like a unified front against the outside."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As novices are the hardest-hit by small populations and segmented groups, my first improvement will be to adopt a city novicehood model."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "GNT and the idea of guild-specific novices will be removed, and that responsibility will shift to the cities in a very similar form."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This allows new players to get the attention they need from a much larger and more active group, so that guilds can focus on their flavor and role. Players are more likely to choose the guild that appeals to them, rather than the guild that can support them."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This change will not be immediate, as we're still hashing out final details, but one task I leave with the guild and city leaders will be to devise some novice requirements that are appropriate for the city as a whole."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "When that player leaves novicehood, he or she will join the guild that matches their class. If they are in a neutral or unguilded class, they will have the option to contact you to join your guild just as they always have."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This will necessitate some small changes to the flow of the newbie introduction as well. Players will select a class, then be sorted into the city hosting the guild that matches their class. If their class is tethered but not guilded, they will choose between the two tether-appropriate cities. If their class is neutral, they will choose from all four cities."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We have a few options on the details of retaining class for new characters, so expect to hear more about that soon. I'll be looking for your feedback."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Overall, however, novices will still enjoy the freedom they currently do to change class without penalty."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "One implication here is that city membership is inherent to guild membership, and vice versa."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As cities clash with one another, either through roleplayed conflicts or mechanical systems like the War System, guilds and cities will need to present a unified front against enemies."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It bears mentioning that the city Ambassador will be more important than ever, and his/her aides will effectively be novice aides."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We will also need to do a pass on each Academy to ensure that it's in working order."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As those will be more important than ever."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I know you have questions, so we'll queue up again."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "These should be specifically about this city novicehood change and its implications."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We will open full discussion shortly thereafter."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Fezzix. I know you queued early. Do you have a question on this topic?"
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "I'm not sure I like that idea. It leaves guilds scrambling for and possibly competing with each other for new members within a city. Not all guilds get along inside cities, so this might spell some trouble. The Ambassador is also likely to be a member of a guild, so this entire system likely comes with an inherent bias. It's also bad for the Syssin and Sentaari, since we have the neutral classes, and I'm not too keen on having to guildkick a brand new player who wants to live in Duiran or Enorian. Will tethers play into this so that doesn't happen?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The guilds are scrambling for members no less than before. Players are motivated by the class they want to play first and foremost. Our tracking data from intro runs on entirely fresh players supports that, and our experiments in making class archetypes clearer and more accessible have shown large gains in appeal for those people."
    -
    Aisling's breath traces cold tendrils in the air, the unfurling frost dissipating with a wintry chill.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If your guild is a healthy and active place, their draw to that class is no weaker than it was before these changes."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It simply ensures that they will not be neglected as novices if population or timezone differences keep your novice aides away from their preferred playtime."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As for Syssin and Sentaari? If they don't join the city that hosts their guild, they don't join the guild."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "Seems I misinterpreted the neutral class issue, but that cuts potential membership for Syssin and Sentaari in half."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I should have been clearer on that front."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "Or in fourths, really."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "Syssin in the Guild are required to be in Spinesreach, as that is our role in the game."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It will be emphasized to players that they should absolutely join the guild that supports their class, but we're sort of arguing both sides of this matter, aren't we? You don't want to host a guild member who isn't devoted to Spinesreach (or have to guildkick, as you put it), but you're worried that tying them to Spinesreach reduces the population?"
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "That's not the issue, the issue is that my guild's membership will suffer because of this."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "If syssin newbies are allowed to start in any city, that theoretically leaves 1/4 of them joining the Syssin guild."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I think we will find that players ultimately go with the city that has their guild."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I am more worried about the guildless classes at this juncture."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But we'll monitor and see how it goes."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "Perhaps, but mechanically.."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It's not something I'm going to drop and leave."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "Very well."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If we need to funnel Syssin and Sentaari to their guild exclusively, we'll learn that pretty quickly."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Rasani."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "Is there a way we can take into account guilds that have opened up their membership to both of their tethered cities? For example, the Templar have recently reopened their ranks to Duiran, can we then become a class that they're allowed to pick their city, since we're letting them be from either? Normally it forces a start in Enorian, but we'd had a few people show interest in our class, but more interest in the forestal city."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This is going to come with a necessary shift toward city and guild membership being linked. Joining the guild will require you to join the city."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This is part of that reducing population segmentation."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "Should we then close our ranks? Or allow them to do it after they learn the ropes and become involved with the guild?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Having a Duiranite in an Enorian guild is compelling in theory, because their loyalties may be split, but it tends to work out the way neutrality arguments do: everyone is afraid to start conflict for fear of severing those many ties."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "Hmm, alright. Will we be allowed to leave those who are already in Duiran in the Templar?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We're going to work with guild leaders to form and strengthen identities directly tied to the cities that host them. I'm not going to firmly say that we'll expel non-citizens, but that may be the most natural result."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "Spooky thought, alright. Thank you."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Tina is next."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Pilar, Kanivara and Aymah will follow."
    -
    Tina Cardinalis, the Tainted asks, "I'm curious about the relation between cities and guilds perhaps a bit more in general. At these meetings you said you would be tying guilds much closer to cities. Making them more integral. Making it impossible for cities and their guilds to be at odds with each other. Now having to be in a city to join the guild. What will this mean for players that are already in a city that isn't the same as their guild's base? Will they be at a disadvantage? What will happen to guilds that have a large population away from their home city? Like the Carnifex and Sciomancers?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I believe the discussion with Rasani just now covered a large part of that, but I can go into more detail about your last example, of Carni and Sciomancers. I'm sympathetic to the ideas behind them, because I pushed for grand change in many orgs I was involved in."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Carnifex, to be specific, began their lean toward Spinesreach mostly out of coincidence. A strong leader in both places wanted to tie them together, so it happened. The admin could have intervened, but it was mostly harmless, and it seemed to do well for both places. What has resulted, however, is a culture that they're inherently Spirean despite the fact that they're consuming souls and reveling in many of the ideals that fuel Bloodloch."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If class is important to guild, and many, many of you have emphasized that it is, then the details of the class should inform the details of the guild."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If guild culture overrides class culture, then guild and class need to be caught in less of a stranglehold. The idea that we could have someone drawn in by the SKILLS of a class but alienated by opposing themes from the guild is pretty bizarre unless guilds are there to serve a role purpose rather than a functional purpose, i.e. class dispenser."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I am open to either side of that argument, and prevailing player opinion should guide my decision there, but playing both sides or striking up the middle is not healthy or useful."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm going to move to the next question/comment, but I trust that this theme is probably not going anywhere."
    -
    Tina Cardinalis, the Tainted says, "Well, I'd just like to state several of us have put a lot of time into both cities and guilds that aren't based in them. They've become a large part of our characters, and we became a part of the orgs. And I don't like the idea of having to choose one over the other in the near future. Thank you for explaining more."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Whoops, sorry."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I didn't mean to cut you off, Tina."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We saw a very similar response to the idea of tether, and while a few still ride that hardcore neutrality argument, the end result is a world more suited to conflict. Whether it's fighting or roleplay, conflict is ultimately what drives this game."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "One moment, forming the statement."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "Alright so. I have a bunch of players who are not even remotely pleased with the idea of being -forced- to join Bloodloch. Those of us who are in Spinesreach are in Spinesreach because we wanted to be Living. Bloodloch's laws specifically state that you have to be Azudim, which is not acceptable for the storyline of some individuals in the guild, or Undead, which is -also- unacceptable for the individual storylines of some of us. You're also incorrect about our culture. Carnifex who live in Spinesreach are -Carnifex- first, Spirean second. We have a code: Strength in Fealty, Strength in Soul, strength in Slaughter. When it comes down to the unicorns hitting the fan, we're doing what works best for -our guild-, as seen in Fezzix's half-understood statement about the Syssin v Consanguine conflict."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm going to go back to what I said when discussing with Tina. Either the flavor of the class should inform the flavor of the guild, or we need to loosen the ties between class and guild so that players can move for the GUILD that draws them most."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This speaks to your issue as well as the one about Syssin and Sentaari membership. Guild membership is secondary in those arguments to the need for class. Whether the guild is fun on its merits is somewhere irrelevant. I take issue with the idea that a guild, which solely holds one class, should be at odds with the details of that class."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "With that in mind, where does the issue of being undead stem in Carnifex GUILD culture? Because there certainly isn't an issue in Carnifex CLASS culture, and it's important for me to understand the difference if there's going to be one."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "Undeath is a personal choice. We have undead in the guild. It's not an issue in the remotest sense. If you don't want to be undead, you live in Spinesreach. If you do, you live in Bloodloch. It has absolutely no bearing at all on the class or the guild."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay, cool."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Thanks."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That helps me understand better."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "You'd be forcing a choice that half of us -don't want- on us by making us all live in BL, and some of us are legit angry about that."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I want to reiterate that I'm not forcing anything at this time. That's why we're having a conversation about the merits of either way."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "And as someone just commented, you could live in a hut in Enorian's sewers and be fine as long as you showed up to Keep stuff and did your work."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "No one has mentioned the idea that Bloodloch maybe stop forcing its citizens to be undead."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But that is perhaps a different discussion for a later (near) date."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "If they were going to allow that, they would've solely to keep the Carnifex under their thumb in the first place."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This conversation will continue, don't worry."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Aymah, let's here another side to this discussion."
    -
    Aymah Adesso says, "From a more practical point of view - if novicehood will effectively happen through the city, we would still be getting rank one members, yeah? And will they actually be IN the guild before completion of this period? With removal of GNT would they just have access to Gt? And if that is the case our requirements from then on should be almost purely about roleplay, the role of the guild, the lore and whatnot? And further, if we're getting sort of 'processed' novices, could we perhaps lower the number of guild ranks there are?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "There are arguments for having them integrated into the guild through novicehood or inserting them into the guild at graduation from novicehood. I am inclined to have them enter the guild when their novicehood complets, so that your guild channels and newsboards can be reserved for non-novice members."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "And I'm happy to have a guild rank reduction."
    -
    Aymah Adesso says, "So guild requirements would have to be more about roleplay and lore, rather than the mechanics of the game, at all?"
    -
    Alathesia morphs before your eyes, taking on the form of Daimlyn.
    -
    Oleis nods His head emphatically.
    -
    Aisling's breath traces cold tendrils in the air, the unfurling frost dissipating with a wintry chill.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "You could continue to elaborate on the novice mechanics requirements, to encourage them to have more advanced items or a fluidcache, for example. Anything that's already within the guidelines for GR1-3 is still fair game."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But it removes that burden from guilds."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Of teaching novices the basics single-handedly."
    -
    Aymah Adesso says, "Yeah, that's just boring, ehem."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Alathesia."
    -
    Lady Alathesia D'baen, Priestess of Souls says, "You spoke in one of the previous meetings (and just now) about dropping guildranks from the current 20 down. What do you plan to drop them down to? We use our guildranks and are willing to share the template we use in the Carnifex to show how we do so for those needing help to build up their guildrank tasks. Also, with this new change to the novice system, will that take away the HoN position in the guilds and will we need to rework guildranks to after they leave novicehood like given more room with what we put in GR 1-3?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Most people have expressed an interest in guildrank reduction because there's not much use for or hope of attaining the levels above 10. My inclination is to reduce it to 10 levels and have the Guildmaster be altogether from the rank system during their tenure, so that they may retire at rank 10."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But of course, I am open to input."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "With the changes to the novice system, I'm not sure you'd need to change anything about GR1-3."
    -
    Lady Alathesia D'baen, Priestess of Souls says, "In the Carnifex you are not even a Tainted Knight until GR 12."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Would you be more amenable to removing the idea of sequential ranks altogether and having appointments above GR3?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Others have expressed support for GR5, so that is more likely."
    -
    Lady Alathesia D'baen, Priestess of Souls says, "That could work. It would be difficult for us to cram all of what we have into the 10 GRs."
    -
    Lady Alathesia D'baen, Priestess of Souls says, "I think we could make it work."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Okay. I like the idea of more flexibility there."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "So that we can meet the needs of all the guilds rather than harming or catering to the less likely use cases."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If anyone OBJECTS to that idea, please get in contact with me ASAP."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "So that we can discuss why."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Kerryn."
    -
    Auspicious Legacy, Abbess Kerryn Aneneas says, "This might be considered off topic, but you have mentioned the health of guilds a couple times now, and with this change it could very well impact many guilds memberships, be it in a positive or a negative way. Could you explain what you consider a 'healthy' guild. Because every guild goes through slumps and times of popularity as people shuffle through alts, etc. Some guilds I would consider healthy, but they aren't exactly overflowing with members. Will those guilds be pruned in favor of the more popular guilds?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "This is such an awesome question."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "There are three broad qualifiers to good health."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "1. The guild is active. Its leaders log in frequently and engage with the other members. When new members join, they are greeted and made to feel welcome in the context that is appropriate to the guild. So a stern guild doesn't need to be fluffy and fruity, but they do need to appropriate communicate their sternness."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "2. The guild does not subvert democracy. The membership is empowered to replace the leader if a plurality of the members are unhappy, and they are not removed from the guild for failing to do so unless they have broken other rules."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "3. The guild has a clear, honest vision for its place in the world. It carves an identifiable niche for the organization as a whole and each of its members in a way that's consistent with the ideals of the pre-written history and the class itself."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That latter point is more flexible and fluid in nature, so it's an over-time thing."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Does that square with what you were thinking?"
    -
    Auspicious Legacy, Abbess Kerryn Aneneas says, "Yes, though my guilds in a bit of a spot as we've not exactly been -given- a clear vision of what we're suppose to be doing in Duiran. Yet. Hopefully that will be cleared up in the near future."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's a large part of the goals behind this change and this meeting. You can't be expected to be wildly successful if no one has helped you find a place in the world or the city. I'd love to take some time and chat with you and Hadrak about a strong lore vision."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "And that goes for any guild."
    -
    Auspicious Legacy, Abbess Kerryn Aneneas smiles and says, "Thank you."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Aloli."
    -
    Aloli Gallant Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Okay, hello... my question is specifically going to move away from all the talk about the novicehood in the city idea, which I completely support and would like to get more information, later, about the kind of requirements we should be setting with the guild leaders in the city. So my question is in regards to Duiran and the overall direction you would like us to take so I understand if its better to discuss it more elaborately on a different platform. Even though were working to update all the city files to make them easy to read for newbies and full of information that fits a forest life, the overall direction and ties to Dendara escapes us entirely. Ultimately, the savagery that can be had from Dendara is a little lost to us right now and that can be a great place to turn Duiran into something. I have very little to write about to introduce the new people we do get. So, I was wondering, do you have plans to elaborate the tie to
    Dendara and all it entails? Also, can I use orgregs to create small things around the city that might be used to improve the overall culture?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Let's take some time very soon with Hadrak to talk about the lore context for Duiran and how we want that to fit together. It ties in really well with what Kerryn asked, too."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Then org requests are a great way to implement those changes and reinforce that role."
    -
    Aloli Gallant Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Yes, perfect, thank you."
    -
    Aloli Gallant Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Great."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Trikal."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Last call for Trikal."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Unintentional rhyme."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "I tolda ya."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Pass me."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Oh right."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It's been so long ago."
    -
    Drunk Bug Trikal Cardinalis says, in a feral tongue, "Sorry."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Not your fault."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Leana."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Leana is not a leader currently. Going to advance."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Rasani."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "Ah! Well, my question has a little more to do with the class issue."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's fine. We can talk about any subject discussed here."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "As it stands, there's a problem we're having with a rogue using the class. Being cityless and guildless is not unheard of, but we've got someone using our skills to help the other side of the conflict. I'm more concerned with the lore implication, of Templar skills being used to aid the shadow, when they're given to us by beings such as the Duamvi. Is there a way we can combat this sort of really weird lore breaking habit?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The simplest answer is that many of our benefits and almost all of our new systems use city membership as a sorting method."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If a city were to citizen a cross-tether rogue, I would have a serious problem with that administratively."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "As it is, cityless, there is less of a pressing mechanical issue."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But it's something I want to discourage."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Ah, it's mechanically prevented already."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "My mistake."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "Yeah we don't have him as a citizen, he jsut helps them."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "Like, doing the "neutral" thing as a way to bypass losing our class."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I want to discourage that as firmly as possible."
    -
    Knight Rasani Morrog says, "But actively aiding them in combat, such as the orrery."
    -
    Kanivara morphs before your eyes, taking on the form of Ducaulle.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I would encourage cities in that case to reject the rogue's help. They would be fully justified in killing someone who refused to leave their raiding or combat party."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Mariena."
    -
    Cinarra scurries in, ready to badger.
    -
    Mariena T. Sinclair says, "How on board or against is theadministration on guilds running small scale things themselves? For a quick example, we have a few magelets online and decide to have them help wrangle shadow wisps. All rp, all spur of the moment. Orbuild a new ritual?"
    -
    Mariena T. Sinclair says, "At some points during my varied history, I have been dinged for some things as not being with the vision of a certain guild. I am almost hesitant to start small scale rps such as that due to this notion. How much approval does a guild need for the day to day shenanigans?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "The more you do on-the-fly, the better your guild feels and the more fun you can have. I can't say that you should expect a permanent token or lasting change as a result of your mini-event, but I think it's great."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If you are consistently running BROADLY against what we're trying to do (and keep in mindt hat the expectation will be very clear in the future), we'll have a friendly chat."
    -
    Aisling's breath traces cold tendrils in the air, the unfurling frost dissipating with a wintry chill.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "But I don't want to discourage any org leader from running events that vitalize their organizations in good faith."
    -
    Mariena T. Sinclair says, "Awesome, thanks!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Comes back to Fezzix."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "I wrote this question before the meeting started."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "But here we go."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "In the first town hall meeting, you noted that you think "endorsing neutrality" is generally unhealthy for the game. I'm very happy you expressed that sentiment, because I agree. I find it concerning, however, that some organization leaders push towards neutrality or "balance," and I think the problem is a mixture of bad lore in the past (such as Saebalism) and the in game leadership being generally unaware or uncaring of existing lore. Examples of the latter include rogue vampire houses and orgs that are generally aimless and have moved away from any sense of coherent purpose, turning more "casual" or "neutral" in the process and infecting other players with this mindset. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any plans for the admin to lay out some clear roleplay framework for the game so that organizations and players are pushed towards a non-neutral state of mind?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Still plenty of merit to this question."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "First step is working with guilds to form a clear niche and role within the context of their city and class skills. They can be very complex, and should be, but the next step will be boiling it down a little bit too, to give new players a very clear read on what that guild represents."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "On the city level, we'll reinforce elements that polarize them by tether while also emphasizing the -peaceful- distinctions between same-tether cities."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "Also.."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "On the forums, it was expressed that we have too many guilds for our current population. I disagree."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "I think we have enough guilds that lay out the right amount of avenues for rp exploration."
    -
    Fezzix Sicarius says, "So long as those guilds remain true to their lore."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I agree. And with only a couple solvable exceptions, all our guilds are pretty healthy."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Taking the novice burden off of them helps that even further."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "All we have to do is emphasize that lore."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "Okay! So. My question."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "You've a plan to address the organization(s) that might be hindered by a leaders or leadership in general that has a stranglehold on their lore, their advancement, and their overall health, right? I've got one in mind that goes practically nowhere and the novices all tend to go elsewhere after a couple weeks."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I'm not sure when I laid this out, but the brief summary is: Friendly conversation with the guild leader. More direct conversation with the guild leader, with lots of suggestions for alternatives and time to listen to feedback. Conversation with guild body at large to gauge their reaction vs. the guildmasters. If necessary and truly, truly toxic: guild dissolution."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "Fair enough then!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That exhausts the queue."
    -
    Officer Kanivara Sor'Tirivan-Talfileir says, "I like your response."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I want to make sure there's a clear sequence of remediation and intervention."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "It's the schoolteacher in me."
    -
    Emir yawns suddenly and mightily.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We have a few minutes before my time limit for this expires, after which we'll have forum discussions, internal discussions among the gods and staff, and more focused discussions with the leadership."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "At this time, does anyone (leader or not) have a question they'd like to ask?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Shista."
    -
    Seeker Shista says, "Hello! Sec."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Keep in mind that I'll be moving through these questions more quickly, so that we do not go past 3hrs15min."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We will not be able to get through the full queue in that time."
    -
    Seeker Shista says, "I have a couple! They're kind of unrelated, the first is, could that orgreq thing be used to make a kind of...spawner? Some guilds have things like patrol tasks, that I'm pretty certain aren't -supposed- to end in conflict, just an excuse to learn your way around, was thinking it would be more engaging and encourage more actual in-person interaction among the group for those to end in conflict, but not with players since those are reqs for a fairly low level. Also, I wanna double-check that this directing of the guilds isn't going to end up removing individual personality options, that the aristocratic vampire that just wants to paint for eternity won't be ostrocized because we want vampires to be filthy savages, etc."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "A spawner is certainly possible, but probably falls too low on the question of effort-vs-value. I honestly wish I could implement all the awesome ideas orgleaders have for their guilds."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "We're not looking to be extremely heavy-handed in our RP guidelines. Only people who are completely opposed should feel alienated."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "For example, a Sentinel who's a closet arsonist is funny but not exactly valid."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Moving to Leana."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Pardon the pace, guys, but I want to hear as many as possible in the next 15min."
    -
    Tracker Leana says, "Just a moment."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Khiral, Phoe and Zaila come after this."
    -
    Tracker Leana says, "It's a bit long, but one question. If I come off as crazy, keep in mind that I'm trying to be helpful."
    -
    The corners of Oleis's mouth turn up as He grins mischievously.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Crazy and helpful is kind of the MO here, given the volunteer base."
    -
    Tracker Leana says, "I always found the redundancy of information to be more of a hindrance to community growth and the sense of accomplish than a helping hand to new members. Having a hundred GHELP, CHELP, COHELP, and so on scrolls removes any effort on the one seeking knowledge. It also removes the responsibility on anyone to teach it, who instead simply direct them to GHELP/CHELP blah. I know this may sound crazy and cliche, but in my day we had to go to libraries and read the books, either paying for a copy so we could leave right after or standing in the guildhall or city library with others players. There was the occasional project, but they were mostly used as lists. I've thought of the concern for absolute newbies struggling in a dwindling playerbase and I understand that no information and lack of people would mean no one sticking around."
    -
    Tracker Leana says, "But, I'm not advocating removal of the general HELP scrolls, I'm instead suggesting that of a hundred GHELP scrolls, would it be something to consider limiting their creation to just directions to key locations to seek out books or people and absolutely key information that's quick to read, such as oaths or crests, or colors, and the like. I bring this up because I think even the mundane aspects of the game need to be rewarding and they can be rewarding without being a hindrance. The creation of a magical instant scroll system you can access from anywhere at any time without any restriction took away any chance for the knowledge to be worthwhile and turned it into chores."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "While I don't think it's feasible or desirable for us to go into each guild and thump around in their GHELP files, I do think that focusing new player information into one or two CHELP scrolls will have a huge benefit in that redundancy you're talking about."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "That's the practical concern for me, and it's where my focus is."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "For delving deeper into the lore? That can be as complicated or eyemelty as each guild desires, provided they're living that lore and applying it to their characters."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Khiral, please."
    -
    Khiral says, "During my ill-advised time wandering the IRE multiverse, I've noticed that for whatever the lore might state, actual God-Mortal interaction is simply not the same elsewhere as it is here. I've said it a number of times and I'll stick with it - God RP is what absolutely hooked me to Aetolia, and a large part of what kept me interested. You see it with players that want to create Holy War. You see it with players that only RP with their Order, or only PK for their Order. My question is: Do you have a plan to make that sort of RP more or less relevant? In the context of leadership: Can we expect these fantastical figures to continue to play a part in our overall Direction with a capital D as players, or do you intend to focus more on cities/orgs?"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "A lot of the time, I feel like our player-god interaction is a little too personal and chummy, and that can lead to resentment from other players. That said, the Gods will play an absolutely crucial role in the upcoming direction of Aetolia, and they're not going anywhere."
    -
    Khiral says, "Thank you."
    -
    Flashing a wide grin, Oleis gives the thumbs-up sign.
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Phoe."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Which makes me want noodles thanks a lot."
    -
    Initiate Phoenecia Sinclair says, "What's your view on rogues? Because there are always going to be people who like a class, but disagree with the guild or city or both, or choose to go without for one reason or another. Are all these efforts meant to ensure that rogues don't happen at all? With the direction it seems guilds are being guided to go, it seems like it would make it more likely for guilds to kick members that don't fit in line with the constructed identity, or just happen to disagree with guild leadership."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "From my personal perspective, the only rogue is one who tries to peddle his skills cross-tether. That's because I personally lean on the side of class being more available than it historically has been here. So a guild that fosters a healthy, consistent identity should attract members that want to follow those ideals, not just get the class."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "And people who want the class but would rather be in another tether-compatible organization should do just that."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I have no desire to support cross-tether rogues."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Zaila."
    -
    Zaila Tenor says, "My question has a bit to do with the various and apparently great desire for great RPK opportunities. I think a lot of people doing attack "noncoms" like me, cause they're afraid we'll complain (or we'll just be a really boring fight, which is reasonable, I'd die in about ten seconds) But, for any of us willing and interested, if there a way for us non-com, non-combatantly-avoiding characters to... flag ourselves as such? So that those who would like to stir up something that could turn into some "go flex my RPK muscles" have easier opportunity to do so a smidgen more organically without worry of someone just complaining and not having fun? I think for us super-super-low-tier-that-we're-barely-a-tier folks it would potentially give us a chance to find other people at our level willing to play at fighting some."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Wylliam, Erzsebet, Lanira are next."
    -
    Zaila Tenor says, "*I think a lot of people AVOID attacking 'noncoms' - sorry, mistyped."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If you're in a contentious roleplay interaction with someone and you think they're holding back from attacking you to avoid griefing you or making you feel like you're being griefed, I think you have two main options. If it's appropriate, you could always attack them first."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Or, you could reference that they might attack you."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If you wish to accompany that with an out-of-character tell expressing your open-mindedness to it, I don't think many people would find that intrusive or immersion-breaking."
    -
    Zaila Tenor says, "Fair enough!"
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "A hard mechanical flag kind of reinforces the idea that there's ANYONE for whom PvP is always off-limits, too, and I disagree with that wholeheartedly."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Even non-comms deserve to get killed sometimes. The trick is to do it with respect and deference to the PvP guidelines."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Wylliam."
    -
    Wylliam Laidir, Fionna`Faol says, "This is about the guild ranks. Some said ten be too few and others twenty too many, what about settling in with 15 ranks, that way it gives those elders in the guild not a demotion, but also gives plenty of room for advancement requirements that seems some guilds have already in place and most have it up to ten, but after ten if we stick to ten, they will not have a place to go. I always thought twenty was too many, and I only know of one person that got to 19 rank simply by guildfavors. It's pretty rare."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "I think you may have missed the conclusion to that discussion. The current idea is to have GR1-5 work as they currently do, and then move to a system beyond that where Guildmasters create ranksa nd positions and appoint members to those."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "So it's much more flexible and appropriate to the role of the guild and its internal structure."
    -
    Wylliam Laidir, Fionna`Faol says, "I feel like that could be abused myself."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "In what ways?"
    -
    Wylliam Laidir, Fionna`Faol says, "There are way too many cliques, and I feel that instead of being there on merit, it'll be based on that."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "If a clique is running the guild, are guildfavours (and disfavours) being handed out on merit?"
    -
    Wylliam Laidir, Fionna`Faol says, "We have a guild that no one but Secs can even give guildfavors now."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Part of this shift in understanding guild structure will
    Post edited by Oleis on
    You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
    [---]
    "^," Slyphe agrees with you.
  • SaritaSarita The Pillars of the EarthMember, Guildmaster Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭
    The end of the leaders log got cut off?
  • OleisOleis Producer Emeritus Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,393 admin
    Sarita said:

    The end of the leaders log got cut off?

    Aha, thank you. I think I hit the maximum post length for VanillaForums? Either way I will attempt to resolve it tomorrow when I am home next.
    You say to Slyphe, "You're so freaking smart."
    [---]
    "^," Slyphe agrees with you.
  • HavenHaven World Burner Flight SchoolMember Posts: 2,226 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Oleis looks like you hit the character limit for the leadership log. Please post the remainder if you have it still.

    Point of reference: Wylliam Laidir, Fionna`Faol says, "We have a guild that no one but Secs can even give guildfavors now."
    -
    Oleis, the Infused says, "Part of this shift in understanding guild structure will
    ¤ Si vis pacem, para bellum. ¤
    Someone powerful says, "We're going to have to delete you."
    havenbanner2
  • ArbreArbre Arbrelina Jolie Member, Guildmaster Posts: 1,999 mod
    It's now February 7th. When are we looking to see the city / novicehood changes, @Oleis?
    Rhoynn
Sign In or Register to comment.